Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Are You Ignoring the Safety Warnings? You Could Be Fined if You Do!
Posted by David Cant on November 21, 2012
1 Comment

Construction firms have to pay attention to the safety warnings and notices that are provided by the Health and Safety Executive on inspections. If you don’t you will end up being fined for failing to abide by the law. This is what happened to a Bristol construction firm who were fined £10,000 on November 4 2012 at Bristol Magistrates Court.

The firm were visited by the HSE six times between August and October last year.  The inspections were a result of concerned members of the public who felt that the company were operating dangerously and putting lives at risk. Peak Construction had been contracted to convert the top floors of a house in Welsh Back, adding some timber framed floors to expand the property.  During each of the inspections a number of failings were spotted involving working at height, the use of an elevated platform with lack of protective equipment, no edge protection, poorly built scaffolding and the risk of materials falling from the roof to the floor.

Fire Risks Were Completely Ignored

Fire risks were also a concern for the inspectors. The construction company had not created a fire plan.  There were no fire extinguishers, no means of raising the alarm if a fire broke out and a lack of escape routes.  Workers were also found to be using a gas torch with an open flame around the timber roof with no fire safety working methods in place.  Due to all of these concerns the inspectors from the HSE gave 7 prohibition notices demanding that work stopped immediately until the issues were addressed. The company choose to ignore some of the warnings and work continued on the site.

Peak Construction received the £10,000 fine for breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations as well as breaching Regulation 38 of the CDM Regulations as they had not created safe working arrangements. In addition to the fine the company will have to pay £4,629 in court costs.

Directors Failed to Act

The company were given warnings right at the beginning of the job. The directors of the firm were told about the failings and despite the risks being clearly pointed out the firm chose to continue with the work without taking any action. As falls from height are the biggest cause of death and serious injuries in construction there was a lack of health and safety management which ended up putting the lives of the workers and the public at risk.

Working with timber does pose a fire risk too and this needs to be controlled to reduce these risks. Health and Safety Consultants can help by conducting a fire risk assessment that would highlight the hazards and identify methods that could reduce the risk and create a safe working method.  To learn more about fire risk assessments and all our other health and safety services call us on 0800 1488 677.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Health and Safety Consultancy, Workplace Health and Safety, Workplace Safety

One Comment

  1. December 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    It seems like the HSE are cracking down on companies that ignore fire compliance and safety regulations, which is a good thing. It is the employers responsibility to ensure that adequate measures are taken to ensure the safety of its employees and the general public.

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