15th August 2019
Company Fined Over Lack of Welfare Facilities
A Manchester based company has recently been fined £8,000 with costs of £1,815 due to having inadequate WC facilities at their site!
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an unannounced inspection of R&S Builders’ site in back in 7 July 2018. The Inspector identified a number of H&S failings within the business, and so decided to issue the company with several enforcement notices relating to non-compliance for fire safety, respiratory risks and for having inadequate welfare facilities.
The company subsequently complied with the enforcement notices for both fire safety and respiratory risks but failed to take heed of the notice requiring the site to meet the minimum standards for health, safety and welfare – namely that to provide adequate WC facilities for staff.
The HSE Inspector said the welfare facilities were in a “poor condition” with no hot or warm running water and that the company did not provide evidence of compliance with the notice within the deadline.
R&S Builders attended Manchester Magistrates’ Court where they pleaded guilty to breaching s 21 of the Health and Safety at Work Act and reg 13(4) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was handed an £8,000 fine and ordered to pay costs of £1,815.
It’s worth noting that this prosecution was brought about by the HSE because the company chose to ignore the timeframe set in the enforcement notice it had been issued. This is a particularly bad idea to do so, and our suggestion to businesses who are ever in a position whereby they have been issued an enforcement notice would be to ensure that they either appeal the notice straight away if they don’t agree with it; comply with the timescales set in the notice; or alternatively request an extension of the notice if there are mitigating circumstances.
Companies that fail to comply with an improvement notice in the time allowed can expect to be prosecuted since this is a criminal offence in its own right, regardless of the circumstances under which the original notice was served.