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Contractor fined (a bit) for taking the piss

20 Feb 23 Schedule 2 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 sets out the minimum site welfare requirements. ID8 Design & Build Ltd fell short.

The lavatory that was supposedly provided for workers on Carlingford Road
The lavatory that was supposedly provided for workers on Carlingford Road

On a construction site in London’s Belsize Park the only lavatory made available to workers was not flushable, not plumbed in and was in open view, with no door or curtains.

East Sussex firm ID8 Design and Build Ltd was in charge of the site on Carlingford Road, carrying out a full refurbishment of a two-storey flat into a house, with the erection of front and rear dormers.

A Health & Safety Executive (HSE) inspection of the site on 29th November 2021 found the welfare facilities did not comply with the minimum requirements as set out in Schedule 2 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The toilet provided was not flushable and was in a room without a door or window coverings. There was no sink, no hot water, no soap and no towels – cold water only was available from a pipe in the room next to the toilet.  No rest area had  been set up by the company either.

The company was issued with an improvement notice by HSE requiring the firm to ensure suitable welfare facilities were available at the site but a second HSE inspection on 5th January 2022 found no sufficient improvements had been made.

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Both the company and its director, Adeel Bhatti, pleaded guilty breaching Section 33(1)(g) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Last week Westminster magistrates fined the company £1,334 and ordered it to pay costs of £1,748.

Adeel Bhatti of Blatchington Road, Hove was fined £416 and ordered to pay costs of £1,622.07.

HSE inspector Emma Bitz said: “Providing suitable and sufficient toilets is an absolute duty and there is no exception to them being provided or made available. The reality is that many of the smaller sites we inspect don’t have basic facilities at all. Inspectors will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against employers who fail to comply with an improvement notice. Welfare is a fundamental and basic necessity for workers. It is also required by law.”

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