An “almost systematic” catalogue of safety failures that could have led to a “devastating” accident at work has cost a civil engineering firm £11,500.
Westminster magistrates punished London-based Peter Lind & Co (Central Region) Ltd following a Health & Safety Executive (HSE) visit to its site in London’s Mayfair area.
A safety official found, on January 23rd, that employees were at risk of suffering falls of 3-8 metres because edge safeguards were either inadequate or missing. The inspector also found that temporary ladders used to replace a staircase that had been removed were unsafe in the two properties that were being refurbished.
Instant fall-prevention steps were urged
The Executive’s subsequent prohibition notice urged immediate improvements when it came to working at height to prevent possible slips, trips or falls.
A further pair of improvement notices also had to be issued.
Nobody was hurt inside the five-storey buildings but the potential for severe or fatal falls was substantial, the court was told.
The company had previously received written warnings or enforcement notices at three of its other sites, where concerns had also been raised over the past two years.
And this week the court ordered Peter Lind & Co to pay £1,369 costs on top of the fine after the firm pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 act.
The HSE’s Andrew Verrall-Withers, speaking after the case, said that the Executive exposed “almost systematic” faults in relation to working at height on the site.
This created a “substantial risk” of potentially “devastating” falls occurring, he said.
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Date Published: October 11, 2014
Author: David Brown