Site workers forced to wash with cold water and a bucket

Grant Prior 2 weeks ago
Share

A contractor carrying out refurbishment and basement extension work has been prosecuted for repeated safety breaches and substandard site welfare conditions.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that PVAD Limited was the contractor controlling work at a construction site on Montholme Road, SW11 when it was inspected by the HSE in March 2017.

The inspection found that numerous areas of the site had no edge protection to prevent falls, including where workers could fall four metres into the basement from the site entrance area.

Unsafe ‘homemade’ ramps were being used to allow access to some parts of the site.

It was also found that the welfare facilities fell far below the legally required standard, with the WC having no cistern to allow flushing and the washing arrangements on site consisting of a cold water outdoor tap and bucket, with no soap or towel.

A prohibition notice was served on PVAD Limited, but further inspections in April and May 2017 found new work at height issues that were so serious that all work had to be halted on both occasions until the site was made safe.

An improvement notice was also served requiring PVAD Limited concerning the inadequate welfare facilities. The company breached the notice as the improvements made were insufficient.

The HSE had previously inspected other PVAD Limited sites several times in 2015 and 2016.

As a result, the company had been served with three improvement notices relating to welfare facilities and two formal letters highlighting work at height risks and giving advice.

PVAD Limited of Hammersmith pleaded guilty to breaching safety regulations and was fined £51,334 and ordered to pay £1,525.50 in costs.

HSE inspector Adam Thompson commented after the hearing: “After the March 2017 inspection PVAD Limited were provided with clear written advice to help them make improvements.

“They failed to take note of this and continued to rely on a site manager with no formal health and safety training.

“On the three occasions the site was visited the workers were at such risk of falling that all work had to halt. It was just good fortune that no one was killed or seriously injured at the site”.

“The standards were particularly inexcusable as the company had received clear warnings in the past.

“It speaks volumes that, even after being issued with three welfare improvement notices at other sites, they provided their workers at the new site with a non-flushing WC and an outside cold water tap and a bucket as washing facilities”.

The Building Safety Group has reported an 8% rise in welfare breaches on construction sites following 10,000 independent inspections this year.

Chris Chapman, Head of CDM Services and Technical Support Manager for BSG said: “Having access to a toilet and washing facilities to remove any contamination after carrying out works such as groundworks and bricklaying on site is not a luxury; it is a basic human right.

“Workers need to feel that they are valued and their health and welfare is taken into consideration by their employer. The law states that welfare facilities need to be arranged on site before any work can begin.

“These facilities need to be considered during the planning stages and then maintained to a high standard throughout the entire lifespan of the project.

“These basic requirements are often neglected. A cold tap and nowhere to eat lunch are not adequate facilities.

“Facilities that meet the requirements and are well maintained can positively benefit the long-term health and well-being of workers.”

Latest news

Robertson bolsters north west arm with O’Rourke hires

Peter Grieve joins as north west operations director
2 hours ago

Science Museum seeks builder for vast storage building

Firm to be picked in October for 300,000 sq ft warehouse near Swindon
2 hours ago

Insurers slam fire test regime for building materials

"More realistic" lab tests demanded for cladding systems post Grenfell
6 hours ago

£80m twin hotel plan for Manchester Airport

Ibis and Holiday Inn kick-start new £180m Airport City hotel district
7 hours ago

Worker in plunge removing fall arrest bags from school site

Court hears edge protection was not up to industry safety standards
7 hours ago

Mace to start £120m Crossrail office scheme

PLP Architecture reveals latest images of Farringdon scheme
21 hours ago

Green light for Liverpool Monarchs Quay scheme

Next phase of King's Dock mixed-use scheme approved
6 hours ago

Accident rates hit record lows for NASC scaffolders

Contractors representing 16,000 scaffolding operatives continue to reduce accidents
6 hours ago

First packages awarded on £28m Milton Keynes office job

Galliford Try gets going on eight-storey complex
23 hours ago

Network Rail to build £46m Wigan train depot

Preparation works are getting underway for Ince-in-Makerfield depot
1 day ago

Boost your online presence – join the new Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers will showcase their products, services and latest stories
2 weeks ago

Specialist trade bodies petition No 10 for payment reform

Unprecedented coalition of trade associations urge Prime Minister to act
2 days ago

Construction boss and developer jailed for contracts bribery

Skansen Interiors MD and and DTZ project manager sentenced
1 day ago

Murphy wins Wessex Water Trym Tunnel relief sewer

North Bristol tunnel scheme to start next year
1 day ago

Graphene concrete game-changer for industry

Exeter Uni scientists produce concrete with twice the strength and four times water resistance
1 day ago

Kier lands lead role in £19.4m Glasgow theatre revamp

Work to start in September revamping the Citizens Theatre
2 days ago

Hill boasts record year as partnerships margin hits 3%

Partnership housing drives growth at Hill as pre-tax profit hits £47m
1 day ago

CMS wins £10m glazing deal on BAM’s Atlantic Square job

Major package win on £100m scheme
2 days ago

Contractors fold before £2m site death fines

Judge hands out huge fines but firms are no longer in business
2 days ago

Green light for £350m Leeds South Bank scheme

Preparation works can now start with construction planned to start next year
3 days ago

Mace go-ahead for London £150m Hanover Square scheme

Great Portland Estates JV secures pre-let to start building work on Mayfair scheme
2 days ago

Growth to rebound to 2.7% next year after flat 2018

30% fall in office activity over two years offset by surge in infrastructure
2 days ago

Crystal Palace to start £100m main stand next summer

Iconic main stand plan to go to London mayor to rubber stamp
3 days ago

Builder murdered by colleague on central London site

Murder hunt under way after construction worker bludgeoned by colleague on Hatton Garden roof
5 days ago

Barratt to pay for post Grenfell cladding upgrade on Croydon block

Government urges more house builders to pay for safety work rather than leaseholders
5 days ago

Carillion’s Midlands Pf2 hospital to cost extra £125m

Skanska confirmed for Midlands Metropolitan Hospital as trust waits for Government go-ahead
5 days ago

BAM Nuttall fined £900,000 after painter tears ligament

Court hears how worker plunged through station waiting room roof
6 days ago

Builders told to wait over a year for brick orders

Smaller builders warn of rising materials prices and lead times
5 days ago

14-storey Milton Keynes ‘sun hotel’ approved

Hotel La Tour gets nod for tallest building in Milton Keynes city centre
5 days ago

Hill bags £41m Homes England direct commission job

Public land direct commissioning scheme entails building 160 homes
5 days ago

Contractor services