Work Place Safety Violation Imposed For Dropping Debris Three Floors


Not providing safe conditions for its employees has led to a fine for one Scottish firm.
According to information from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the County Durham construction firm was fined for dangerous practices on a building site in Aberdeen.
Following an anonymous complaint to the HSE, inspectors arrived for an unannounced visit to the former Grampian Hotel site in Carmelite Street in June of 2010.
Work was underway to convert the building into a 30 flat development and the principal contractor was MK Builders (North East) Ltd, which had overall responsibility for the site.
Workers Dropping Debris Through 3rd Floor Hole In Floor
Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard in late March that on arrival the inspectors opened a door at the rear of the building and discovered debris was being dropped via the internal structure from the third floor to the ground level. Timber was piled up beneath a hole in the ceiling and there was nothing on the door to warn of the potential dangers inside.
HSE established that one employee was accumulating debris on the third floor and depositing it through the hole in the floor. Similar holes had been left in the floor at each level in order to permit the debris to fall, and all presented a fall risk because of unprotected open edges leading to falls of between 10 and 30 feet.
The court was informed the worker on the third floor was carrying a fall arrest harness, which is typically used as the last line of defense to reduce the risks of falling, but is not considered sufficient protection on its own.
Company Pleaded Guilty and Fined $6,000
HSE also found that the ground floor area, and in particular a door labeled as a fire exit, were blocked by materials that had been dropped from height. The door was also used to access the portable toilet outside and workers would apparently yell up when walking through this area.
A pair of Prohibition Notices were served to stop any further work being carried out near the open flooring until suitable fall prevention measures were in place, and to stop debris being thrown through the holes in the floor to prevent others being struck by falling objects.
MK Builders (North East) Limited, of Gainford House, Picktree Lane, Chester-le-Street, found itself with a total fine of more than $6,000 after pleading guilty to a pair of separate breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  Contact:
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