18th November 2014
Construction Firm Fined 10K After Ignoring HSE Warnings
A construction firm has been fined after it ignored repeated warnings about safety at a building site for a row of terraced houses in Manchester. HSE said that the case should act as a warning to other firms who will find themselves in court if they fail to take action upon notices issued against them.
Waterloo Construction (Manchester) Ltd was prosecuted by HSE after it continued to stack bricks on scaffolding without measures in place to stop them falling and injuring people below.
Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard on 14 November that an HSE inspector had identified the issue on a visit to the building site for ten new terraced houses on Elizabeth Street in Cheetham Hill on 14 November 2013.
She noticed that the bricks were being stored on the scaffolding platform above the height of the toe board, which meant there was a risk of them falling if they became dislodged.
The inspector served the company with a Prohibition Notice requiring the bricks to be stored at ground level or for brick guards to be used. She returned to the site on three occasions up until April 2014 but on each occasion bricks were still being stacked on scaffolding platforms, with no measures in place to prevent them from falling.
Waterloo Construction (Manchester) Ltd was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £1,445 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 after failing to comply with a Prohibition Notice.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Laura Moran said: “If one of the bricks had fallen from the scaffolding and struck someone on the ground below then they could have suffered serious head injuries.
“We gave Waterloo Construction several opportunities to improve safety, returning to the site on three separate occasions after my initial visit, but bricks continued to be stacked unsafely on scaffolding.
“This case should act as a warning to other construction firms. The notices that HSE issues are legally enforceable and companies will find themselves in court if they fail to take action.”