A contractor carrying out refurbishment and basement extension work was prosecuted after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identified a series of serious safety breaches during inspections.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that PVAD Limited was the contractor controlling work at a construction site on Montholme Road, London SW11, when it was inspected by the HSE in 2017. The inspection found that numerous areas of the site had no edge protection to prevent falls, including where workers could fall four metres into the basement from the site entrance area. Unsafe ‘homemade’ ramps were being used to allow access to some parts of the site.
It was also found that the welfare facilities fell far below the legally required standard, with the WC having no cistern to allow flushing and the washing arrangements on site consisting of a cold water outdoor tap and bucket, with no soap or towel.
A prohibition notice was served on PVAD Limited, but further inspections found new work at height issues that were so serious that all work had to be halted on both occasions until the site was made safe. An improvement notice was also served to PVAD Limited concerning the inadequate welfare facilities. The company breached the notice as the improvements made were insufficient.
The HSE had previously inspected other PVAD Limited sites several times in 2015 and 2016. As a result, the company had been served with three improvement notices relating to welfare facilities and two formal letters highlighting work at height risks and giving advice.
PVAD Limited of Overstone Road, Hammersmith pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Regulation 15(11) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM) and Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £51,334 and ordered to pay £1,525.50 in costs.