Building firm boss hit with fine over safety failures
A director of a building company has been fined £2,000 and ordered to pay over £3,000 in costs after a Health and Safety Executive investigation found him guilty of multiple safety failures.
Roland Couzens, 67, was fined after the HSE found that the health and safety of workers was put at risk for at least three months. On a site in Openshaw, Manchester, a HSE investigation found that workers without personal protective equipment (PPE) were exposed to unsafe levels of contaminants and dangerous materials.
Trafford Magistrates Court heard that roofers, bricklayers and plasterers risked skin burns whilst working on the refurbishment of a Victorian terrace in the northern city.
As well as not having PPE to help minimise exposure, the court heard that there was no provision of hot water in order to adequately remove dust, which could include harmful levels of lead.
Couzens admitted to not supplying hot water to the premises, which was also acting as the site office, despite both kitchen facilities and a bathroom being available; this was after repeated visits throughout the work and a report highlighting the need for hot water ahead of the project starting.
Speaking after the hearing, the HSE Inspector on the case, Matt Greenly, said:
“This case should act as a warning to companies and directors that we will not hesitate to prosecute if they do not act to ensure the health and safety of their employees.”
Greenly said it was 'astonishing' the issue went on for so long.