Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Construction Safety a Major Cause of Concern for the HSE
Posted by David Cant on February 21, 2011

If you are in the construction industry or a designer it is essential that you make sure that you are doing everything within the law to maintain health and safety on site. There have been many reports which have highlighted the fact that many companies are failing their employees and the public. This can then result in injuries and even death which you can be prosecuted and fined for, which could cost you your reputation, and your business. These accidents can be avoided by maintaining a constant vigilance on health and safety within your company.

Two Construction Companies Receive Fines for Injuries

A labourer from London was injured while cleaning a screed pump. Sean Forsythe aged 22 was left with permanent damage when his hand was trapped inside the pump. The accident occurred when the hose he was using to clean the pump, which is used to disperse the concrete from the mixer onto the desired surface, was caught up in the rotating blades of the mixer.

After the accident an investigation was carried out by the Health and Safety Executive. The report showed that LCS Interiors Ltd and Kent Commercial Finishings Ltd had not managed to maintain the equipment.

Fines Totalling £45,000 for the Two Construction Companies

The HSE investigation highlighted to fact that despite written procedures being in place broken equipment had not been replaced. The screed pump should have had a grill attached which acts as a safety device. This stops the blades from rotating when it is lifted. This had broken off a few months previous to the accident on July 14th and had not been replaced.

As a result of this Kent Commercial Finishings Ltd of East Sussex were charged with breaching the regulation 11 of the provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations set in 1998. They pleaded guilty as they were fully responsible for making sure the screed pump which they hired was safe and in good working order. The City of London Magistrates Court fined the company £3000 and they were order to pay £2000 in costs.
LCS Interiors Ltd of Welwyn Garden City was prosecuted as they were responsible for carrying out inspections of the plant and the machinery each week. They were found guilty for their breach of Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of work Equipment Regulations 1998 and were ordered to pay £10,000 and additional court costs of £30,000.

After the hearing at the Old Bailey, Monica Babb, a HSE inspector spoke about how the long term damaged to Mr Forsythe’s hand was an incident which could have been avoided. She stated that companies who fail to take action when safety equipment breaks is simply not acceptable.

Does Your Company Follow your Written Procedures?

Having procedures in place is only the first part of ensuring your site is a safe environment. In order to help accidents from occurring it is essential that you follow up on all procedures involving breakages in safety equipment.

Veritas Health and Safety Consultants are able to make sure you have the best policies in place to protect everyone involved. We can provide you with a professional service and deliver you a full health and safety package. To discuss your construction health and safety requirements please contact 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

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