The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has successfully prosecuted a West Midlands building contractor after ignoring enforcement notices from January 2015.
The HSE had visited a building site in Cradley Heath and noted issues with working at height safety. The HSE served Improvement Notices (INs) regarding site manager training and scaffold safety, with a completion date of 02 March 2015.
Correspondence from the HSE was ignored by the contractor and a further visit from the HSE found that no improvements had been made. Furthermore, a request to attend a taped interview under caution was also ignored.
Sandwell Magistrates’ Court fined the contractor a total of £15,000 plus full costs of £1617 for two breaches of Section 33(1)(g) and one breach of Regulation 4 (1) of Work at Height Regulations.
HSE Inspector Gareth Langston, after the case was heard said: “Initially this was a perfectly normal routine inspection, with a few things found that could have been easily resolved.
“The defendant said they didn’t respond to the notices because of pressure at work. They admitted not being organised and not taking the matter very seriously, hoping it would go away.”
“I’d say to other businesses, it is not a good idea to ignore interaction with HSE, or it could land you in court with a sizeable fine, as [the contractor] has discovered today.”