Builder Fined For Failing To Provide Proper Facilities For Workers

A builder has been prosecuted for neglecting the welfare facilities of his workers at a construction site in West Cornwall.

David Lawrance, as a partner for Swiftfix Reinforcement Specialists, failed to provide adequate washing facilities and rest areas at a site in Beach Road, Carbis Bay, between May and July 2012 where a new home was being built.

Bodmin Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday (17 April) that when an inspector from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) visited the site he found there was no hot or cold running water, or even a basin to wash in.

There was also no supply of suitable drinking water, just a hose running from a neighbouring property into a plastic container.

The inspector also found that an area for resting, drying clothes or eating was inadequate. There was a small portable office with room for three chairs, but there were eight workmen on site and there was no electricity supply connected to the office.

An Improvement Notice was served requiring better conditions, but a follow-up HSE inspection revealed nothing had changed.

David Lawrance, of Downside, Rosudgeon, near Penzance, pleaded guilty to a single breach of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. He was given a two year conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £2,141.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Barry Trudgian, said:

“The need to provide running water to wash hands and arms is not a trivial matter on a building site.

“The workmen were pouring concrete and when splashed on the skin this can lead to dermatitis if it is not washed off. Apart from being an unpleasant condition, in some cases it can lead to the loss of use of fingers and hands.

“Site contractors and supervisors like David Lawrance, who are responsible for the work of employees or subcontractors, have a legal duty to ensure that adequate facilities are in place for the welfare of the workforce from the very start to the completion of construction work.”

At Acorn EHS we provide Site Safety advice and can assist with your site setup ensuring you provide suitable welfare facilities call us on 03334 560 999.