Business owner ignores asbestos controls

Plus Safety Comment: Irresponsible, ignorant and stupid, Don’t you wish that if anyone has to suffer lung cancer due to inhalation of asbestos fiber in the future it is this owner!! Chances are it will be some other some other unsuspecting worker.

Bolton night club owner fined over asbestos exposure
A Bolton night club owner has been sentenced after admitting a failure to carry out a survey for asbestos before starting on the refurbishment of a local night club.

Manchester Magistrates’ court heard how UK Night Life Limited and its sole director, Charles John McGrath, undertook the management of a refurbishment project between 1 August and 12 August 2015 on The Level nightclub, Mawdsley Street, Bolton without an experienced contractor in place to manage the site. Up to 20 workers were potentially exposed to deadly asbestos fibres in order for the club to open in time for Fresher’s week and an influx of students to the club.

The site first came to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) attention in August 2015 following a complaint from Bolton Council regarding unsafe construction works throughout the site.

The HSE inspector served a total of three Prohibition Notices and two Improvement Notices, along with a Notification of Contravention for a foreseeable risk of asbestos exposure, a lack of competent site manager, risks of falls from height, unsuitable welfare facilities and inadequate fire safety precautions.

Charles McGrath, sole director of UK Night Life Limited, of Mawdsley Street, Bolton, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and Regulations 5(a) and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, and was fined £5,720.00 with costs of £3,535.86.

In his summing up, District Judge Sanders remarked that Mr McGrath had chosen to rush through the works with unqualified and inexperienced people running the site on a day-to-day basis. He went on to say that it was clear that these offences amounted to a ‘degree of cost cutting at the expense of safety’.

HSE inspector Matt Greenly said after the case: “Mr McGrath totally failed in his duty to protect his workers, subcontractors and anyone else accessing this site from a foreseeable risk of serious harm. Asbestos related diseases are currently untreatable and claim the lives of an estimated 5,000 people per year in the UK.

“The requirement to have a suitable asbestos survey is clear and well known throughout the construction industry. Only by knowing if asbestos is present in any building before works commence can a contractor ensure that people working on their site are not exposed to these deadly fibres.

“The cost of an asbestos survey is minimal compared to the legacy facing anyone who worked on this site. They now have to live with the realisation that due to the lack of care taken by Mr McGrath they may face a life shortening disease at some point over the next 30 or more years, from an exposure which was totally preventable. This case sends a clear message to any company that it does not pay to ignore risks on site, especially to simply keep to a self-imposed tight schedule.”

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Builders! – Its simply a matter of time!

Plus Safety Comment: Health & Safety applies to all businesses large or small irrespective of number of employees – Builders, tradespeople — Get Your Act Together!!

Self-employed trader fined for safety failings

Date: 27 September 2016

A Bradford self-employed trader was sentenced today for safety breaches after poor scaffolding arrangements at a domestic property put himself and others at risk.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Mark Podstawski, 47, after an investigation found poor planning, the absence of guard rails and a scaffold not of a recognised design, put himself and others, including people on the ground at risk.

Mark Podstawski of Horton Bank Top in Bradford pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was given 200 hours community service and ordered to pay £918.02 costs by Bradford Magistrates Court.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Thompson commented: “Mr Podstawski had been served with a Prohibition Notice six months prior to this incident when he breached the Work at Height Regulations for similar circumstances. This incident could and should have been prevented. Scaffolding should always be erected to the appropriate standards and previous enforcement action should not be ignored”.

Reminder- fork lift trucks are dangerous vehicles

Plus Safety Comment: Moving around where FLT’s operate require everybody to take note of where the vehicles are at all times, equally Fork Lift Truck drivers must make sure that no-one is in the vicinity of their vehicle operations.

Delivery firm fined after worker loses leg

Date: 23 September 2016
A Buckinghamshire delivery firm has been fined after a driver suffered life changing injuries when he was hit by a reversing fork lift truck.

Delivered UK Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after the incident on 2 September 2014 at their depot in Ajax Avenue in Slough.

Reading Crown Court heard how the delivery driver who was working for an agency, was pushing a trolley containing parcels along the side of the building between the wall and a row of delivery vehicles. When he reached the end of the row of vehicles a fork lift truck which was operating near an entrance to the building reversed out of the shutter door, striking him and trapping his foot in the rear wheel.

The worker sustained fractures and crush injuries to his left foot and leg and spent five weeks in hospital following the incident. Five months later he required an operation to amputate his left leg below the knee.

The HSE investigation found that at the point where the fork lift truck entered and exited the building there was no barrier in place to prevent collision with pedestrians, neither was the yard organised in such a way as to allow safe pedestrian access to vehicles that were parked on the other side of the yard. The company’s risk assessments for unloading/loading of vehicles and the use of forklift trucks all failed to consider the use of physical barriers to segregate pedestrians from vehicles. An improvement notice was served and the company has now made the necessary changes to enable pedestrians and vehicles to circulate safely.

Delivered UK Limited of Stirling Road, Cressex Business Park, High Wycombe pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2 (1) and 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act, 1974 and was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,783.04