Builder fined after ignoring height safety warning

Shiva Ltd, a property investment company, was using a site-made cradle during the renovation of the five-storey building on Bermondsey Street.

Cradles are temporary suspended work access platforms widely used in the industry which are commonly suspended from cables and raised and lowered into position by winches.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that on and before 26 February 2019, the company put operatives at risk of falling from height while unsafely refurbishing the front façade of the building.

Despite being served with a prohibition notice by the HSE the company continued the work the following day.

An HSE investigation found that workers were at significant risk of falling from height by manually lifting the cradle from the open edge of the roof and working from height near unprotected openings and that the work was not appropriately supervised.

The company also obstructed justice by refusing to allow the HSE inspector access to the site.

Shiva Ltd of London, pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £46,000 and ordered to pay costs of £24,688.10.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Sharon Boyd said: “Inspectors will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against dutyholders who fall below the required standards and put lives at risk.

“Working at height remains one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries. In 2021/22, falls from height accounted for 29 fatal injuries in the workplace.”

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