How A Client Managed To Stop A Contractor

After reading this story never again will you think that as a client you do not have any power to stop something you do not believe in or something that you disapprove. It is important for you to remember that as clients, we are the users of services, and that as such we have the full right to disapprove something in order to provide workers with humane working conditions. This story certainly proves it.contractor-frustrated

In Cambridgeshire a roofing contractor was fined for safety failings that threatened the safety of three workers. Fortunately the contractor was fined for the shortcomings in his business, but it definitely raises the question of how safe construction workers are and what can be done to improve their safety.

high-riskWhat happened is that Stevenage Magistrates heard how Kerry Parmenter was contracted to carry out roof work at the premises of Cottage Linen Limited in Hertfordshire. Work on the roof was stopped by the project client after they were informed by HSE of unsafe working methods following a site visit. Furthermore, HSE found that workers were being put at risk by working on the fragile roof without adequate controls and using inappropriate equipment. Kerry Parmenter had failed to adequately plan, manage and supervise the work.

This of course shows that everyone has to be careful and considerate of people who work in construction sites. If you see any sort of threat, it is also important for you to react to it, no matter who you are. Frequently, the work on fragile AC roofs is referred to as “high risk activity”. Luckily, after the incident Kerry Parmenter, of Ramsey, Cambridgeshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, and Regulation 9 (2) of the Work at Height Regulation 2005 and was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay costs of £1,459.

After the events took place, we also had the opportunity to hear the opinion of the inspector who was in charge. This is what HSE inspector Rauf Ahmed had to say after the hearing:

The_crane_and_the_Main_Street_midrise_on_the_Infinity_(300_Spear_Street)_construction_site,_SF“Work on fragile asbestos cement sheet roofs is a high risk activity with a history of fatal injuries. Workers are at risk of falling through the roof or from open edges if protections are not in place. There is publicly available guidance on the HSE website highlighting the control measures required for carrying out this type of work.”

Even though this particular incident was soon resolved, we have to ask ourselves how many incidents like this one have to happen before the people and the authorities realize that construction workers are truly exposed to health hazards and that their safety is often compromised only because they have a certain occupation. No one should be worried about occupational hazards, and especially not construction workers who did not consciously choose a hazardous occupation, therefore it is our duty to make sure their health and safety is guaranteed.