Unsafe cradle: Fine for company that put workers at risk

Unsafe cradle: Fine

Putting workers working at height at risk during the refurbishment of a former warehouse building in London has resulted in a company being fined. The company also breached a prohibition notice.

Property investment company Shiva Ltd was using a site-made cradle during the renovation of the five-storey building on Bermondsey Street.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that on and before 26 February 2019, the company put operatives at risk of falling from height while unsafely refurbishing the front facade of the building.

Despite receiving a prohibition notice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the company continued the work the following day.

Significant risk of fall

An HSE investigation found that workers were at significant risk of falling from height by manually lifting the cradle from the open edge of the roof. And also working from height near unprotected openings. It also found the work was not appropriately supervised.

The company also obstructed justice by refusing to allow the HSE inspector access to the site.

It concluded that Shiva Ltd failed to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of those carrying out the work.

On 10 October, Shiva Ltd of Lincoln Tower, Westminster Bridge Road, London, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and breaching the Prohibition Notice. The court issued a fine of £46,000 and ordered it to pay costs of £24,688.10.

HSE inspector Sharon Boyd said: “Inspectors will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against dutyholders who fall below the required standards and put lives at risk.

“Working at height remains one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries. In 2021/22, falls from height accounted for 29 fatal injuries in the workplace.”

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