£40k fine for construction firm for not following regulations

A London-based building contractor has received a substantial fine after failing to plan, manage and monitor work under its control, leading to workers being exposed to silica dust.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard MY Construction was undertaking work which included the refurbishment of a building at Netherall Gardens, in Hampstead.

A site inspection in July 2016 found workers in a basement had been dry cutting around 250 bricks to shape them for use in bay windows.

A subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that failures in health and safety management had led to numerous issues on site. Worryingly workers were not informed of the dangers of inhaling the dust, they were not made aware of the correct controls, and the work was not supervised by a competent person.

MY Construction & Carpentry Limited, of Waltham Cross, pleaded guilty to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

Last month the firm was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay an additional £2,313 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Prentiss Clarke-Jones said: “Over 500 construction workers are believed to die from exposure to silica dust every year. It is the biggest risk to construction workers after asbestos.

“This number can be reduced by those in control of the work through adequate planning, managing and monitoring of the work on site.

“MY Construction has been repeatedly warned by HSE about the dangers of silica, and has today been held to account for failing to take adequate action to protect the health and safety of its workers.”

It is important to seek expert legal advice if you believe you have the grounds to pursue an industrial disease claim.  For guidance please contact our head of Dispute Resolution Stephen Silverman or visit our website.

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