Heavy fine for company responsible for Health & Safety breach – Robert Stevenson ProsecutesPark Square Barristers
On 14th May 2019, in a case prosecuted by Robert Stevenson, two companies were convicted and sentenced in relation to their failures to protect their employees whilst working at height.
Mr Robinson fell as a result of the combined failings of both defendants in that they each failed properly to: assess the risks associated with the work being carried out on the roof; put in place any measures to eliminate/reduce those risks; instruct their workers how to perform the work safely; provide the proper equipment needed to carry out the work safely; and supervise the work being carried out to ensure it was being carried out in a safe manner.
Weiser Construction Limited (‘WCL’) and Complete Cladding Systems Limited (‘CCSL’) were each convicted of an offence contrary to s.33 of the HSAW Act 1974, failing to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, that employees were not exposed to risks to their health and safety.
The sentencing judge found that both companies, who had instructed Mr Robinson and others to carry out the work on the roof, had failed to put in place any of the necessary measures to ensure their safety, such as handrails, harnesses and nets. He found it inevitable that anyone who tripped, slipped, or lost their balance in such circumstances was bound to fall either to their death or very serious injury.
CCSL were fined £165,000 and ordered to pay the costs of the prosecution; their fine would have been considerably higher had they not suffered a downturn in trade/profits in recent times. WCL would have received a fine of £140,000 but they had already gone into liquidation by the time of the hearing.
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