Construction firms fined in PPE failings
Two construction firms have been found guilty of health and safety breaches and fined, following an incident which left a worker badly injured after an on-site fall.
The incident in October 2012 surrounded the failures of two Kent-based firms, W.W. Martin Ltd and Brandclad Ltd.
A resulting investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that despite a risk assessment being sent to W.W. Martin, the firm failed to act before work commenced. Contracted to repair leaks at a food firm, the firm disregarded the fact that handrails would be needed on worker platforms and failed to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) harnesses.
The investigation also found that even after the worker on the site fell two metres – which left the 46-year-old with a broken rib and a fractured left wrist among his injuries – no real changes were made. No handrails or harnesses were introduced, for example, with the only evidential change being platforms that were flatter and more evenly set.
HSE experts also told the court that both W.W. Martin and Brandclad had decided against such fall prevention, over fears that the structural integrity of the roof would be compromised.
The court found Brandclad most at fault over the incident, handing down a fine of £7,000 and ordering the company to pay £3,588 in costs.
Despite it being found less at fault, W.W. Martin received a higher fine of £10,000 , in consideration of the stronger financial position the company is in. The firm was also ordered to pay costs amounting to £3,588.