Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court heard that Sherwood Homes Ltd had appointed several contractors to build properties at sites in Preston and at Tarporley. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) visited both sites and found that the workforce was exposed to risks that included falls from height, electrocution, inhalation of silica dust and being struck by construction plant. Various enforcement action was taken against the principal contractors involved and the client, Sherwood Homes.
The HSE investigation found that Sherwood Homes failed to make suitable arrangements for managing the projects. There was no F10 notice of construction work displayed, and insufficient welfare facilities at the Tarporley site. The company also failed to give notice in writing to HSE before the construction phase began at the Preston site.
Further investigation found that the HSE had conducted nine inspections to four separate Sherwood Homes sites since 2014. During these visits, 16 enforcement notices and nine notifications of contravention were served for various health and safety breaches.
Sherwood Homes Ltd of Houldsworth Street, Stockport, was found guilty of breaching Regulation 6 (2), Regulation 6(3) and two breaches of Regulation 4 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £76,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,651.64.
HSE Inspector Susan Ritchie said after the hearing: “Clients cannot delegate their health and safety responsibilities. CDM 2015 places clear duties on clients making them accountable for the impact their decisions and approach have on the health, safety and welfare of their project. In general terms, the client must ensure that the construction project is set up so that it is carried out from start to finish in a way that adequately controls the risk to health and safety of those who may be affected by it. In order to achieve this they must engage others (such as designers and principal contractors) that have the necessary skills, knowledge, training and organisational capabilities to fulfil their responsibilities under CDM and deliver the project safely on behalf of the client. If the client fails to do this, HSE will consider taking enforcement action against them.”