HSE swoop finds litany of safety failures on major Liverpool site

Grant Prior 2 years ago
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Main contractor Abercorn Construction has been fined after an unannounced HSE inspection found poor welfare standards, dangerous electrical systems and inadequate health and safety provision on a major residential site.

Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard how concerns had been raised regarding the health and safety standards at the construction site of the former Tobacco Warehouse at Stanley Dock in the city where renovation work is ongoing to luxury apartments.

A site inspection found the welfare cabin used by employees to be in poor condition, containing exposed live wires and damaged electrical sockets, a mouldy dishwasher and an accumulation of rubbish with the potential to attract vermin.

A general site inspection found numerous uncontrolled high risks such as a damaged cable on a 400v transformer, insufficient fire alarms, a lack of fire extinguishers and signage indicating emergency routes and multiple examples of unprotected edges and openings exposing workers to risk of a fall from height.

There was also inadequate pedestrian and vehicle segregation, poor order, poor lighting and the risk of exposure to live electrical conductors.

The HSE investigation found the company had failed to effectively plan, manage and monitor the works which had resulted in these health and safety issues arising on site.

These risks had already been highlighted to the company in previous written enforcement. Despite compliance being achieved, poor standards had been allowed to develop again.

Abercorn Construction Limited of Belfast pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £77,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,025.52.

After the hearing, HSE inspector John Padfield commented: ”This type of proactive prosecution will highlight to the industry that HSE will not hesitate to prosecute companies for repeated breaches of the law.

“Good management of health and safety on site is crucial to the successful delivery of a construction project and principal contractors have an important role in managing the risks of construction work and providing strong leadership to ensure standards are understood and followed.”

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