A housing construction company from Greater Manchester has been fined thousands of pounds after its workers were exposed to unnecessary risks while working at height.
Select Quality Homes Ltd from Oldham has been ordered to pay £6,600 after the firm failed to comply with a prohibition notice issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Manchester City Magistrates’ Court heard.
An unannounced HSE inspection in April 2015 found that workers at a construction site on Newmarket Road in Ashton under Lyne, Greater Manchester, were working at height without appropriate protection from falling.
The inspection uncovered that there was an absence of edge protection on the scaffolding.
The scaffolding provision was also found inadequate in several places.
The company was issued with an immediate prohibition notice. This formal warning orders all work at a site to stop until the safety issues have been addressed and the necessary precautions put in place.
A return visit to the site found the defects in the scaffolding had not been resolved and working at height safety measures were still inadequate, with employees remaining exposed to unnecessary risk.
Failure to comply
The company had failed in its duty to properly plan, manage, and monitor the site, the court was told.
Select Quality Homes Ltd of Middleton Road, Chadderton, Oldham was fined £6,600 and ordered to pay costs of £646.70 after pleading guilty to breaches of Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Section 22 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
HSE Inspector David Argument said after the hearing: “This could have been avoided if Select Quality Homes Ltd had taken simple steps to prevent people from falling, such as guard rails, mid rails and toe-boards.
“Prohibition notices are only served when an Inspector is concerned there is a risk of serious injury. Failure to comply with these notices is a criminal offence and HSE will take robust action when duty holders do not take action to control serious risk.”
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: March 5, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown