A lesson in manufacturers’ responsibilities for their sub-contractors has been delivered by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a drinks producer and a scaffolding firm it hired were fined for safety failings.
HSE identified concerns following a serious incident involving a scaffold at Universal Beverages’ premises at Ledbury in 2009.
Erect-A-Scaffold, was appointed by Universal Beverages to erect and maintain scaffolding at the site. Now, both companies have been sentenced at Worcester Crown Court, which heard that there were “significant” issues with the scaffolding, including loose boards and big gaps.
Central Roofing and Building Services, trading as Erect-A-Scaffold, did not inspect the scaffold frequently enough and, on more than one occasion, sent an inexperienced and unqualified employee to carry out the inspection. HSE found the company failed to perform adequate and regular safety inspections and maintenance of the scaffold.
Universal Beverages, meanwhile, failed to ensure the subcontractor it appointed fulfilled its obligation in this regard. In doing so the drinks company also failed to ensure the safety of non-employees.
Universal Beverages was fined £85,000 and ordered to pay £50,000 costs, after being found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
Erect-A-Scaffold was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £18,000 costs after pleading guilty to the same breach.
This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.