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Director fined after health of workers was put at risk for more than 3 months

The director of a building firm was prosecuted after it emerged the health of bricklayers, plasterers and a roofer were put at serious risk for a prolonged period of time.

What happened?

Roland Couzens, 67, a director at CSC Construction Ltd, had been supervising a project to refurbish a row of Victorian terraced houses on Ashton Old Road in Openshaw between May and September 2013.

The company, which has since gone into administration, had been stripping the houses before plastering and fitting them with new kitchens and bathrooms.

After an investigation by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which found that one of the vacant properties was being used for the site office and to provide welfare facilities for the workers. However there was no hot or warm water supply in either the kitchen or bathroom.

The Court was told that the bricklayers and plasterers were put at risk of suffering skin burns as they were working with cement and plaster but could not use hot water to clean themselves and a roofer working with lead could have suffered lead poisoning from having residues left on his skin.

Mr Couzens disclosed that he visited the site several times a week during the project but failed to provide a hot water supply until after the HSE inspection, despite the need for hot water being highlighted in the company’s construction plan.

What was the outcome?

Mr Couzens was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £3,102 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

HSE Inspector, Matt Greenly, said:

“There were around a dozen people working on the site every day
so it’s astonishing that they were without hot
water for more than 3 months.

“Mr Couzens was brought in to oversee the project, including the
health and safety of workers, but he failed to ensure
this basic legal requirement was met.

“This case should act as a warning to companies and directors
that we will not hesitate to prosecute if they do not
act to ensure the health and safety
of their employees.”

If you have been affected by an incident such as this, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

Source: View article

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