Boss fined over wa­ter

Macclesfield Express - - YOUR VIEWS - STU­ART GREER

ABUILD­ING firm direc­tor has been fined af­ter work­ers’ safety was put at risk for more than three months, a court heard.

Roland Couzens, 67, of Sugar Lane in Rush­ton Spencer, was pros­e­cuted by the Health and Safety Ex­ec­u­tive (HSE) af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion found brick­lay­ers, plas­ter­ers and a roofer were not pro­vided with hot wa­ter to wash off dust and con­tam­i­nants.

Traf­ford Mag­is­trates’ Court heard on Au­gust 22 that Couzens, a direc­tor at Stock­port-based CSC Con­struc­tion Ltd, had been over­see­ing 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 bare be­fore plas­ter­ing them and fit­ting them with new kitchens and bath­rooms.

HSE car­ried out an in­spec­tion and 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. Pros­e­cu­tors ar­gued brick­lay­ers and plas­ter­ers had nowhere to clean off ce­ment and plas­ter, which can cause burns, while a roofer work­ing with lead could have suf­fered lead poi­son­ing from residues on his skin.

Couzens ad­mit­ted to vis­it­ing the site sev­eral times a week dur­ing the project but fail­ing 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.

Couzens was fined £2,000 and or­dered to pay £3,102 in court costs af­ter plead­ing guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work 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 three months.

“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.”

●● Ter­raced houses on Ash­ton Old Road in Open­shaw

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