Who is at risk from health and safety breaches?

There are so many reasons why company bosses and managers should take health and safety seriously.

It goes without saying the main reason is to protect people from harm. No one wants a health and safety oversight to lead to someone being injured or killed.

Another key reason is that health and safety breaches can potentially put firms out of business. Organisations which are successfully prosecuted for breaches may face huge court costs and fines and on top of that the associated publicity can do terrible damage to a firm’s reputation.

What people often forget as they go about their day-to-day jobs is that they themselves might also be personally punished if they are found to be responsible for a health and safety breach.

Many organisations have strict internal policies and an employee who breaches health and safety rules may end up without a job.

Company bosses and managers may also find themselves facing heavy fines and even custodial sentences if they fail to adhere to health and safety law.

To show an example of this we’d like to share with you the details of a case which was recently heard at Newcastle-upon-Tyne Magistrates’ Court.

In this particular case, a construction company director was fined for leaving a gas boiler at a domestic property in a dangerous condition as he worked to build an extension.

During the building work, the residents of the property in Newcastle were placed at a serious risk of ill health, including carbon monoxide poisoning.

The court heard that commencing in April 2018, construction work was carried out at a domestic property on Lichfield Avenue, which affected the safe working condition of the gas boiler and flue at the property. The family of three, a mother and her two children, remained living in the house while the extension was built.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found David Coulson, director of Coulson Constructions North East Ltd, did not make the gas system in the house safe before or during the construction work, allowing the fumes and poisonous gases from the boiler to flow into the extended house. He was not Gas Safe registered.

David Coulson of Gofton Walk, Newcastle upon Tyne, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 and Section 20 (2)(j) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for 24 months, given 250 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £5,200

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Wilson, said: “Construction work can and must be planned properly to ensure the health and safety of those potentially affected throughout the building project.

“Any work on a gas system, including the boiler in our houses, must always be carried out by competent gas engineers, namely those accredited with Gas Safe Registration. Not to do so is both illegal and potentially very dangerous.

“To check if a person is Gas Safe Registered visit the Gas Safe Registered website.”

Construction sites can be extremely hazardous places if health and safety rules are not adhered to. At Acorn Safety Services our experienced team of Construction Health and Safety Consultants can provide inspections and audits for all types of construction sites across the UK to help keep workers, visitors and residents safe.

We have worked on projects across all sectors, including education, residential, aviation, rail, commercial, retail, healthcare and leisure and have extensive experience of all forms of contract arrangements including PFI, Design & Build and Construction Management.

Our experience extends to working on new builds, refurbishments, demolitions and fit-outs, including works on heritage buildings. So, you can be confident we have the expertise, knowledge and experience to assist you whatever your project is, big or small.

If you need help identifying and managing health and safety requirements on a construction project visit https://acornhealthandsafety.co.uk/ today or contact us at info@acornhealthandsafety.co.uk or on 01604 930380.


More Health and Safety Articles

Acorn Safety Services - National Forklift Day

What is the impact of a forklift truck accident?

Today is National Forklift Safety Day, a day that aims to raise awareness of the dangers of forklift trucks and the importance of forklift training. Kevin Burt, who joined Acorn Safety Services in April as our new Health and Safety ...

riddor

Understanding RIDDOR

Understanding RIDDOR is crucial for maintaining a safe workplace. This comprehensive guide explains the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, detailing its history, purpose, and steps to ensure compliance. Learn about your legal obligations, how to report incidents, and the importance of accurate record-keeping. If you need help understanding RIDDOR or think you have a RIDDOR case, contact Acorn Safety Services for expert assistance and support.

Cases of fire

Understanding the Different Classes of Fire

Understanding the different classes of fire is crucial for effective fire safety. This comprehensive guide covers Class A, B, C, D, Electrical, and Class F fires, detailing how to extinguish each type. From residential to industrial settings, knowing the right extinguishing methods can save lives and property. Dive into practical advice, historical context, and actionable tips to enhance your fire safety knowledge. Stay informed and prepared with Acorn Safety Services.

The team from Acorn Safety Services celebrate their success at the SME Northamptonshire Awards

Reflecting on our success at the SME Northamptonshire Awards

THE team at Acorn Safety Services was delighted to attend the SME Northamptonshire Awards earlier this month – a unique celebration of some of the brightest and best businesses in Northamptonshire. Just four years after its launch, Acorn Safety Services ...

12342 Next