A Bristol building firm has been fined after a court heard it failed to provide basic washing and welfare facilities for workers despite enforcement action at another of its sites. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) visited CR Construction (SW) Ltd on 16 June 2011 at a Bristol building site and found ‘completely inadequate’ washing and bathroom facilities. Bristol Magistrates’ Court heard managers of the company knew exactly what the requirements were, as an improvement notice was earlier issued at another site run by the firm. On further investigation, the HSE inspectors found the failings had been apparent at the new site for the whole year it had existed. The court heard there were up to sixteen building workers on site and facilities were way below the minimum requirements. HSE inspector Sue Adsett said: ‘Workers on sites such as these need access to clean and working toilets and hand washing facilities with hot and cold running water, soap and towels, as many materials used on such sites can cause skin problems. It is also a legal requirement to have a heated room on site where workers can change, rest, and make hot drinks and food if required.’ CR Construction (SW) Ltd pleaded guilty to a criminal breach of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,014.
LST Comment: While the Workplace (Health & Safety) at Work Regulations 1992 outline the minimum requirements for Welfare facilities in commercial premises these are further clarified for the Construction industry by Schedule 2 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations. Welfare facilities need to be provided where reasonably practical, on all sites, clearly when a site is during the setup phase transient facilities would need to be provided prior to more permanent facilities being developed.
Read the HSE news release