Structural steelwork co in the frame for £150k fine over roofer’s spinal injury
Thursday 13th September 2018
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An employee of Northern Structures was removing roof sheets from a timber-framed farm building on 20 September 2017 when he fell through one of the asbestos cement roof sheets, landing 4 m below.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that, although Northern Structures had provided a risk assessment and method statement to remove the roof sheets from below the frame, the method was then changed so the worker had to stand on the roof and remove the sheets.
Northern Structures, of Amble Industrial Estate, Amble, Northumberland pleaded guilty to breaching regs 4(1)(a) and 4(1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court on 12 September. It must also pay £792 costs.
The company, which has supplied structural steelwork in the northeast of England since 1976, undertakes specialist builds and provides bespoke services in the commercial, industrial and residential sector and the agricultural and equine sector.
HSE inspector Loren Wilmot said the construction firm should have used alternative access equipment to undertake the work.
"This would have negated the need for the employee to be on the roof of the building, therefore eliminating the risk of a fall from height through the roof sheets," she said.
Kewie Doherty’s company, C J Langs, was also sentenced after inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found unsafe work-at-height practices, a lack of suitable equipment, and untrained operatives working without supervision. They had visited the site in Sherborne Gardens, Ealing, following an accident in January 2017, Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told.
Launching the government’s “target zero falls” campaign at the Work at Height Forum at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, minister of state for national development and manpower Zagy Mohamad said that there had been 358 cases, down from 388, during the first seven months of the year. Mohamad said the number of deaths due to falls from height was on a downward trajectory, from 24 in 2009 to eight in 2017.
After previous workplace deaths workers have sometimes downed tools, particularly if the incident takes place in their work area. However, construction union Unite has agreed that if the joint venture partner applies the “continue to work” policy properly and sensitively and does not put anyone else in danger on the site, its members will comply. According to the Construction Enquirer, Unite’s members working on the site were encouraged to agree the deal in August to protect payouts to the family of any worker who dies on the project.
The 3 A Pub Company, trading as The Cross, pleaded guilty to breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and has been fined £25,200 plus £5,900 costs. Environmental health officers from Warwick District Council found that the 18 year old had not received any safety training, information or instruction, despite having worked as an apprentice chef at the restaurant for more than a year. He had not been provided with the findings of risk assessments relating to work at height, use of fryers and contact with heat sources.
Costain and Galliford Try Building were part of a consortium appointed by United Utilities to upgrade the Tarporley wastewater treatment works in Cheshire. On 5 March 2015 MEICA (mechanical, electrical, instrumentation control and automation) site manager Peter Rowan and a software engineer were commissioning a storm screen – a machine comprising a 3.1 m-long screw conveyor mounted horizontally inside an overflow chamber with a mesh basket attached to the underside – to remove solid objects from liquid sewage.
The And So To Bed employee was standing on the platform, which was attached to a forklift truck and was open sided, on 1 February 2017 when the accident happened at the company’s factory in Bridport, Dorset. He sustained injuries to his knee and face, Poole Magistrates’ Court was told.The company was fined £113,000 plus £6,924 costs after it pleaded guilty to breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and reg 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.