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May 20, 2012

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Construction firm neglected its duty of care to workers

A Croydon-based construction company has appeared in court for contravening multiple enforcement notices, which were issued by the HSE at a site in south London.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that HSE inspectors visited a construction site at a house in Honor Oak Road, Forest Hill, on 18 May 2009. The site was managed by Anza Ltd, and inspectors found that there were multiple fall risks on the scaffold around the building.

The firm was issued a Prohibition Notice, which required all work at height to cease until the fall risks were properly managed. It also received an Improvement Notice, which required welfare facilities to be provided at the site.

The HSE returned to the property on 1 July 2009 and found that there were insufficient measures in place to prevent falls among workers who were using stairs to access the lower level of the site. Inspectors issued a second Prohibition Notice and began steps to prosecute the company for failing to comply with the previous two enforcement notices.

HSE inspector Abosede Ogunsekan explained that the advice Anza Ltd had received from the Executive, regarding its duty of care to site workers, had also been ignored. She said: “This company had ignored previous warnings and enforcement notices from HSE, and continued to neglect their duty of care to their workers.

“Falls from height are the greatest cause of major injury and fatalities in the construction industry, and, if companies do not take steps to prevent these, then HSE will be robust in its response.”

Anza Ltd appeared in court on 16 May and pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the HSWA 1974, for contravening the enforcement notices, and reg.6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. It was fined a total of £15,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £6752.

After the hearing, Inspector Ogunsekan said: “Even though there were no injuries in this instance, serious safety breaches were continued by this construction company, which could have resulted in serious injuries.”

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12 years ago

Why did it take 44 days to check PN and IN compliance? No deferment mentioned.

Good job nobody was seriously injured or killed in the interim.