A London based construction company and its MD have been prosecuted by the HSE following an investigation into a building site found multiple dangerous working conditions and Health & Safety breaches.
C J Langs Ltd was fined £80,000, ordered to pay costs of £6,000 and the MD was disqualified from directorship.
Health & Safety Inspectors visited the Sherborne Gardens site in London and found evidence of several poor conditions, including issues relating to working at height, poor provision of suitable personal protective equipment and site operatives operating without the correct supervision.
During the investigation, The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to plan and manage the work on the building site nor correctly monitor the work taking place.
Mr Kewie Doherty, the managing director, was established to have been responsible for the unsuitable and unsafe conditions found onsite. Mr Doherty was disqualified from being a company director for 3 years, and was given a community order of 150 hours of unpaid work.
Here are 5 ways to ensure suitable working conditions on your sites
- Do a full and recorded risk assessment for all work activities on site, include any working at height, access and egress arrangements, and every task taking place or planned. Consider who could be harmed and how, and how you can effectively manage risks that are involved.
- Ensure your workers have the correct PPE and working equipment available and that it is in good usable condition. Check all electrical portable tools have been PAT tested and inspected, and that they have been stored properly and correctly maintained. Check all workers have the right safety equipment and workwear and know how to use it properly.
- Provide relevant welfare facilities on site, including toilets, hand wash basins, soap and towels, somewhere to change and store dirty or wet clothing and somewhere safe for rest breaks.
- Provide training for your workers and ensure no one comes on site without a proper induction. Supervise all work or employ a supervisor to do this, and make sure correct safety procedures are always followed.
- Ensure all workers and visitors wear correct personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times when on site – this is likely to at a minimum consist of a EN-397 standard hard hat, class 2 high visibility clothing and safety footwear.
Everybody knows the necessary measures for basic Health & Safety on a construction site, especially within the industry itself. There are no excuses for putting yourself or other people at risk by allowing or encouraging dangerous practices - and this case shows any savings in time or money from avoiding the basic requirements are ultimately a false economy. Check your building sites are safe and your workers are well trained as an incident could cost you dearly.