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Principal contractor fined after workers exposed to silica dust

Date:
13 December 2017

A London based building contractor, MY Construction & Carpentry Limited (MY Construction), has been fined after failing to plan, manage and monitor work under its control, leading to gross exposure of workers to Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS).

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard MY Construction was undertaking a project that included the refurbishment of a building at Netherall Gardens, London. A proactive site inspection on 5 July 2016 found workers in a basement had been dry cutting approximately 250 bricks to shape them for use in bay windows.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that failures in health and safety management had led to numerous issues on site. Workers were not informed of the dangers of inhaling the dust, they were not made aware of the correct controls, and the work was not supervised by a competent person.

MY Construction & Carpentry Limited of High Street, Waltham Cross pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

The company has been fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2313.10.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Prentiss Clarke-Jones said: “Over 500 construction workers are believed to die from exposure to silica dust every year. It is the biggest risk to construction workers after asbestos.

“This number can be reduced by those in control of the work through adequate planning, managing and monitoring of the work on site.

“MY Construction has been repeatedly warned by HSE about the dangers of silica, and has today been held to account for failing to take adequate action to protect the health and safety of its workers.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We seek to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

 

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