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Challenging Perceptions

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A few weeks ago I had the great opportunity to be interviewed by  BBC radio manchester, about women working in construction.

The interview was nicely near my home, at Laing O’Rourke’s Connell College site in Beswick where I was interviewed along with their Construction Manager manager, Laura Greene.

As usual we were asked questions about the perception of construction being a dirty, dangerous industry for a woman to work in. I was struck that a well run, modern and safe site like Laura’s is probably one of the least dirty or dangerous places to work compared to more traditional female jobs such as catering, care work, nursing or factory work! For those that would like to try it, also better paid !

Listen to the full interview here.

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Developer goes to prison after repeatedly flouting safety law

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Date:18 July 2014

A developer has been sent to prison for 30 months after repeatedly breaching prohibition notices which were put in place to ensure the safety of workers while redeveloping a former office block in Parkeston, Essex.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) visited the site on 28 February 2013 following complaints from local residents worried about debris falling from upper storeys and of the danger to workers being left without any protection from falling while working at height.

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Construction firm and roofing director prosecuted following worker fall

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Date:21 July 2014

A London construction company and the director of a Hertfordshire roofing firm have been fined for safety failings after a worker was seriously injured when he plunged almost six metres through a void for a roof light.

Right Angle Ltd, of Finchley Road, London, NW11, was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £5,375 after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

John Donald, of New Road, Croxley Green, Rickmansworth, was fined £4,000 with £3,965 costs after admitting a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

After the hearing HSE Inspector Danielle Coppell said:

“There were numerous failings on the part of Right Angle Ltd that exposed multiple operatives to a host of foreseeable risks, including falls, slips and trips.

“John Donald has to accept culpability as an experienced roofer who should have known better. He instructed the injured worker to work in an unsafe area where there were wholly insufficient measures in place to prevent or mitigate a fall.

“The end result is that a young man has sustained life-changing spinal injuries from which he may never fully recover.”

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Five in court for multiple safety failings

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Date: 24 July 2014

A Lincolnshire poultry firm and four of its contractors have been fined for repeated safety failings after workers were caught on a roof without taking proper safety precautions.

GW Padley Poultry Ltd were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after inspectors witnessed unsafe working at height while building a poultry shed at the company’s site in Wigtoft, Lincolnshire, in March 2012.

Harlow Brothers put in place a lifeline and harness system for safe working at height, but this was found to be inadequate on inspection and a further Improvement Notice was served.

The court heard that Harlow Brothers Ltd and Philip Bates have previous convictions for work on poultry house roofs without edge protection.

GW Padley Poultry Ltd of Mount Street, Nottingham, pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 22(1)(a) and regulation 22(1)(c) of the Construction (Design and Management ) Regulations 2007 and was fined £9,000 and ordered to pay £15,000 costs.

Harlow Brothers Ltd of Long Whatton, Loughborough, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 on two separate occasions, the 13 and the 16 March 2012 and Section 4(2) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £15,000 costs.

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Construction firms fined after workers hurt in scaffold collapse

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Date: 28 July 2014

The platform which collapsed, causing two construction workers to fall and injure themselves. A house builder and a scaffolding company have been fined after two bricklayers were hurt falling from an unsafe scaffold.

Lincoln Magistrates’ Court heard the two men, who have asked not to be named, were working for Persimmon Homes Ltd on a development site in Ploughman’s Lane, Bunkers Hill, Lincoln, when the incident happened on 4 April 2012.

They were about to start work on a scaffold platform six metres from the ground, which had been loaded with materials. Just as they started work, the scaffold collapsed and they fell around two metres on to a platform below.

Persimmon Homes Ltd, of Fulford, York, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(b)(i) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was today (28 July) fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £10,426 costs.

The Cathedral Scaffold Company Ltd, of Dixon Way, Lincoln, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(b)(ii) of the same Regulations and was fined £4,000 with costs of £5,500.

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CITB Film on Fragile roof work – For building owners & managers

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Find out more about tackling the problem of falls through fragile surfaces and watch our film

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