Health and safety fines from the HSE – they’re for other building firms
Sunday, August 01st, 2021
Health and safety fines – never had one? Don’t imagine you’ll ever get one?
Geoff hasn’t got time for health and safety. Actually he’s never really given it much attention – even when work was quieter than it is now.
He reckons it’s highly unlikely that the HSE will come knocking. It’s all scare tactics. And anyway he’s careful on site. He tells his crew to be careful on site. Plus, they’ve all been in the game long enough to know what they’re doing.
Of course he worries about someone getting injured. To be fair there have been a couple of near misses. So yes it’s there in the back of his mind – when he can’t sleep or when he’s feeling really stressed. But it’s quickly dismissed again as soon as he’s got his head down working.
And even if he wanted to ‘do health and safety properly’ he hasn’t got the patience, the knowledge, an admin type mind or the money – consultants are super-pricey aren’t they?
Well Health & Safety management needn’t be as difficult as Geoff thinks – if you go about it right:
It’s important that you consider…
- You have a legal obligation to produce a Construction Phase Health & Safety Plan and comply with CDM 2015.
- No one can manage their health and safety obligations in their head.
- But help doesn’t have to come from a Health & Safety consultant.
- Templates from the internet are less than reliable or helpful.
- A software programme is your best bet – one that is thorough and covers everything.
Five reasons you want Health & Safety Xpert
- The software looks at all aspects of your project and picks out what documentation is needed for that specific job.
- It fills out as much of the paperwork as it can for you and gives prompts for the information only you can provide.
- With all the documents in place, it makes it a million times easier for you to plan ahead and put procedures and physical aids in place to ensure everyone’s health and safety.
- It also provides (professional) physical evidence that you have considered the risks – something that the HSE will ask for should they visit.
- Your customers have an expectation that you’re on top of your legal obligations – you could win or lose a job on it. Show them a sample set of the software’s documents and you’ll impress. Tell them about us – we’re not a new app. We’ve been helping builders for years.
It will take you less than an hour to produce your first set of documents using Health & Safety Xpert. Then even less time when you produce the next one. What’s not to like?
And it will cost as little as £499+VAT for a year’s subscription for the Plus version and £599+VAT for the Premium version (or you can buy outright for £1299+VAT and £1499+VAT).
We call that a quick win. No extensive training. No time commitment. No need to digitalise your whole business today – just the part that will help you work within the law.
If you have Health & Safety Xpert – great news! Make sure your Support & Updates is in-date to get all the latest updates to the software. If your Support & Updates has expired, please call the team on 0117 916 7892 or go online to either renew or upgrade (if a long time has passed).
It’s even easier when you have EstimatorXpress…
You just drop your estimate file into Health & Safety Xpert which gives the software a huge head start on the number crunching and paperwork sorting. Saving you even more time. Read up on our award-winning estimating software here.
Think again about those health and safety fines Geoff
HSE and local authorities are responsible for enforcing health and safety legislation. Each has a range of tools at their disposal to ensure businesses comply with the law and respond proportionately to offences. These are provisional figures from 2019/20.
- A total of 2,031 notices were issued by HSE inspectors in Construction.
- Prohibition notices issued in the Construction Sector account for around 56% of the total prohibition notices issued by the HSE.
- There were 143 prosecution cases# led by HSE or, in Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal where a verdict was reached.
- This resulted in 137 (96%) with a conviction for at least one offence.
- Fines totalled £8.3 million averaging over £60,000 per conviction.
Yep, an average of at least £60,000 per conviction.
That’s not scare tactics Geoff, that’s statistics.
And if you want a more in-depth look at the health and safety fines, together with the injuries and illnesses reported in the same period, take a look here:
And finally the importance of planning (and training) hot off the UK press…
“A Staveley building firm has been fined £8,000 after a contractor suffered brain trauma and a broken neck falling from a roof…This risk was further amplified by the company’s failure to undertake a number of simple safety measures including conducting pre-start checks on the training of workers, planning work to ensure that working methods were safe and supervision to ensure that dangerous working methods could be observed and challenged.“
“A builder has been jailed for 24 weeks after he failed to report a serious incident that resulted in a workers leg being amputated… There was no health and safety-related documentation and there was no employer’s insurance cover for Lewis to claim against…Adams had not obtained any health and safety training during his 50 years in the construction industry.”
“A Bristol-based builder has been fined after a subcontractor fell through a sky light and fractured his skull… An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Pitman had failed to ensure that the work at height was properly planned, appropriately supervised and that the health and safety of anyone not working for him was not at risk.”
These are just excerpts from three reports in the last few months (and there are plenty more). Planning, or rather, lack of it is cited so often. And training. We can help with that too – take a look at these health and safety online courses for as little as £25.00+VAT per person.
#Cases refer to a prosecution against a single defendant. The defendant may be an individual person or a company. There may be one or more breach of health and safety legislation (offences) in each case.