Are you taking risks on your construction site?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently revealed the details a sad case in which a sub-contractor suffered serious injuries when a stack of plasterboards fell on him at a construction site he was working on in Surrey.

The sub-contractors were moving sheets of plasterboard weighing 32kg each from the ground floor to the second floor of a house undergoing refurbishment. As there was no staircase in place, they were stacking the plasterboard against an unsecured ladder and sliding them up to the floor above. During the process the plasterboards fell on the worker, fracturing his pelvis.

Last month, Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard that a subsequent investigation by the HSE into the incident, which happened on 12 April 2019, found there was no safe system of work in place and the workers were not being adequately supervised. The stairwell openings were not guarded and they were partially spanned with scaffold boards resting on insecure scaffold poles, creating a significant fall risk.

Not only did this incident result in a worker being injured it also led to director of the construction company working on the project being prosecuted.

Siamak Samyani the sole director of SS Reforms Limited of Eastcote Avenue, West Molesey, Surrey pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974. He was sentenced to 20 weeks in custody suspended for 12 months, fined £3,400 and ordered to pay costs of £600.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew Cousins said: “This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the director to devise and implement a suitable safe system of work.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those who fall below the required standards.”

This case highlights the injuries workers can suffer on construction sites and the personal risk to company directors if they are found to be in breach of health and safety laws.

People often assume that it is only companies that get prosecuted when something goes wrong but as this case shows individuals can be prosecuted for failings too and may even face custodial sentences as well as fines and court costs.

The services we offer at Acorn Safety Services include Construction Health and Safety Inspections and Audits to ensure that workers are not put at risk and company bosses are not left facing prosecution.

We are an independent and certified Health and Safety company so you can be confident that the advice and recommendations you receive from us will always be in your best interests.

Our Health and Safety consultants have worked on projects across all sectors, including education, residential, aviation, rail, commercial, retail, healthcare and leisure; with extensive experience in all forms of contract arrangements including PFI, Design & Build and Construction Management.

We have experience in new build, refurbishment, demolition and fit-out, including works to heritage buildings. This provides you with the reassurance that our Health and Safety consultants have a track record in working on all stages of the project which can be complex.

All our safety inspection and audits are undertaken by fully qualified, experienced health and safety consultants and will include as a minimum the following:

  • General site information review, observations and comments
  • Observations of activities on site
  • Review and validation of site documentation
  • Inspection of welfare facilities
  • Suitability review of site signage
  • Adequacy of first aid facilities
  • Review of site security
  • Suitability of personal protective equipment requirements
  • Housekeeping observations
  • Presence of trip and fall safety systems
  • Scaffolding suitability
  • General machinery, plants and equipment audits
  • Incident, Injury & Accident Procedures

The safety inspection and audit will include a full report with evidential photos issued to you within 48 hours. Any immediate health and safety requirements will be advised to the site manager for action immediately.

Our track record is second to none and gives the business significant experience and understanding of health and safety, and how it impacts on design and construction.

So, don’t run the risk of falling foul of health and safety law – if you need Construction Health and Safety Inspections and Audits visit https://acornhealthandsafety.co.uk/ or contact us at info@acornhealthandsafety.co.uk or on 01604 930380.

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