A Croydon-based construction company has been fined for continuing unsafe working practices at a site in Lewisham despite repeated warnings.
Unsafe working practices at the Anza Ltd site
Anza Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after inspectors found serious safety issues during two visits to a construction site on Honor Oak Road, Forest Hill in 2009.
Westminster Magistrates Court heard yesterday (16 May) that the firm received advice from HSE and was served with a Prohibition Notice about managing the risk of falls on 18 May 2009. Anza Ltd was also issued with an Improvement Notice on 27 May 2009 requiring welfare facilities to be provided on the site. The site was visited again on 1 July 2009 by HSE Inspectors, who found that there were insufficient measures in place to prevent workers who were using stairs to access the lower level of the site from falls. A second Prohibition Notice was served for fall prevention.
The HSE investigation found that the advice given to Anza Ltd regarding its duty of care to site workers had also been ignored, and they had failed to comply with the requirements of the Improvement Notice served on the 27 May 2009.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector Abosede Ogunsekan said:
"This company had ignored previous warnings and enforcement notices from HSE, and continued to neglect their duty of care to their workers. Falls from height are the greatest cause of major injury and fatalities in the construction industry; and if companies do not take steps to prevent these, then HSE will be robust in its response. Even though there were no injuries in this instance, serious safety breaches were continued by this construction company which could have resulted in serious injuries".
Anza Ltd, of Wydehurst Road, Croydon, was found guilty in absentia of single breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 for its failings - three breaches in total. The company, now in liquidation, was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £6,752.