A refurbishment specialist has been fined for exposing workers to risks regarding ‘falling from height’ and ‘poor conditions’ on a site in Newcastle city centre.
Stoneforce Ltd, of Hertfordshire, was the main contractor hired to carry out work on the refurbishment of a new retail store in Northumberland Street in September 2011.
Newcastle Magistrates’ Court heard that after a string of complaints, a HSE (Health and Safety Executive) inspector had advised Stoneforce of its legal obligations when managing the site. These complaints included allegations of risks relating to falls from height and concerns about poor housekeeping and a lack of welfare facilities.
A further inspection found several safety failings and a Prohibition Notice was served relating to a risk of falls from height from the edge of the roof. A number of Improvement Notices were also served relating to a lack of sufficient welfare facilities and for failing to keep the site in good order.
HSE finall brought a prosecution and Stoneforce of Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, was fined a total of £10,000 after it pleaded guilty to five safety breaches. The company was also ordered to pay £5,195.70 costs.
After the hearing HSE Inspector Andrea Robbins said: “Numerous failings were found on this site, including serious risks from falls from height that could have resulted in major injuries or even death. There was also a lack of suitable and sufficient welfare facilities on the site, with the only sanitary provision being four portable toilets, which were not well lit and were not kept in a clean and orderly condition. There were also no suitable washing facilities in the toilet area. Such facilities are a basic human right.”
Source: Contraction Enquirer
LST Comment: Regulation 27 of the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2007 outline the requirements for Construction sites to be kept in Good Order. Furthermore, in Schedule 2 of the same regulation, it places duties on Clients, Principal Contractors and Contractors to ensure that there are suitable and well maintained welfare facilities provided at all times for site staff.