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Oldham building contractor in court over fall from height risk

Date:
24 February 2017

An Oldham based building firm has been fined for exposing its workers to dangerous work at height.

An Inspector from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) issued an immediate Prohibition Notice ordering Select Quality Homes Ltd to stop work at a site at Newmarket Road, Ashton under Lyne until workers had protection against falling from height.

Manchester City Magistrates Court heard that an unannounced inspection took place in April 2015. During the visit the Inspector found that edge protection on the scaffolding was absent or inadequate in several places and as a result a prohibition notice was issued. Upon a return visit from HSE to the site the scaffolding was still inadequate.

The court also heard if Select Quality Homes Ltd had carried out their duty to plan, manage, and monitor the site properly, and subsequently followed the advice outlined by HSE’s Inspector, the defects in the scaffolding would have been resolved without the need for any formal enforcement action.

Select Quality Homes Ltd of Middleton Road, Chadderton, Oldham pleaded guilty to breaches of Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Section 22 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £6,600 and ordered to pay costs of £646.70.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector David Argument said “This could have been avoided if Select Quality Homes Ltd had taken simple steps to prevent people from falling, such as guard rails, mid rails and toe-boards.  Prohibition Notices are only served when an Inspector is concerned there is a risk of serious injury.  Failure to comply with these notices is a criminal offence and HSE will take robust action when dutyholders do not take action to control serious risk”.

For further information on working at height please visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/index.htm

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: legislation.gov.uk/
  3. Further HSE news releases are available at press.hse.gov.uk

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