Peak Construction (London) Ltd has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £4,629 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations SI 2005/735 and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations SI 2007/320.
The firm was carrying out a redevelopment project in Bristol city centre in order to convert the upper floors of Riverside House to residential accommodation and to add two new timber framed floors on top of the building.
However, members of the public raised concerns about some of their working practices, which led to six site visits from the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) inspectors. On each visit, inspectors found failings relating to unsafe work at height, including the use of a mobile elevating work platform without worker harnesses, a lack of edge protection and poorly constructed scaffolding. Fire risks were also identified.
Despite being issued with seven prohibition notices, the firm still continued some dangerous practices at the site.
HSE inspector Steve Frain said, “Right from the start of the job, the company was warned about its health and safety performance and individual directors were made aware of the initial failings we identified at the site. The number of follow-up inspections and interventions we made in this case went far beyond what would normally be required. The same risks were clearly pointed out at each inspection, yet still the company failed to take sufficient action.”
He added, “These are not minor technical breaches of the law. They show a failure of leadership across the company which led to a high risk of significant injuries.”