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Bilston builders fined for height safety failings

26 Apr A West Midlands construction company has been fined £48,000 after safety inspectors found unsafe working practises during a routine inspection.

The safety failings were found during a routine HSE inspection
The safety failings were found during a routine HSE inspection

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors made a routine visit to a construction site in Redditch on 8th October 2019 following a report of a fall from height.

During the inspection there was evidence of poor management of work at height, and numerous other uncontrolled site safety risks. This included unsafe work on a flat roof where there was no edge protection to prevent a fall from height, even though there had been a fall from the same roof eight days earlier.

At Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court last week, Bilston-based SSF Construction Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. It was fined £48,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,443.

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HSE inspector Chris Gregory said after the hearing: “The company had not learnt the lesson from the recent fall from height and failed to ensure that appropriate fall prevention or mitigation measures had been put in place, so there was the potential for further falls from height and serious injuries or fatalities. Other significant risks identified during the inspection confirmed a widespread failure to manage and monitor the site to protect workers and others from foreseeable risks.

“Those in control of work have a responsibility to ensure that work activities are appropriately planned, managed and monitored, and that suitable control measures are both identified and implemented.

“HSE will not hesitate to take proactive enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards – it is clear that in this case we were left with no choice but issue these notices and prosecute.”

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