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Health & Safety At Work magazine recently reported on the case of national interiors fit-out company, Newman Scott, who were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a visit in 2013.

Joint Managing Director John Graham said “We were mortified at the thought of being prosecuted because we had a good safety record and thought we were pretty good at health and safety.” They had employed a subcontractor who had erected scaffolding poorly on an escalator. “Although no one was hurt there was a very real and high risk of injury, or worse, to the operatives,” he added.

The company undertook what Graham described as a “full and frank internal investigation” and found that, although they had adequate risk controls in place, the procedures were not always being followed.

“We focused on improving the already positive safety culture in the company through better communication, more training, more competence checking and giving more ownership of health and safety to our employees,” said Graham.
The HSE has recently announced that it is instigating a fresh initiative targeting refurbishment sites in the construction area. Refurbishment projects account for 52% of all deaths and reportable injuries in the construction sector.

Jo Anderson, HSE’s lead in the refurbishment initiative, said the regulator was pleased that Newman Scott was willing to share its experience and hoped it would encourage other companies to review their own H&S practices.

Auxil Ltd are a Gloucester based firm who specialise in offering friendly but professional advice on a host of H&S matters. They will be happy to ensure that you have the correct H&S policies in place and can help you achieve best. In addition they can offer help and advice should you receive a HSE site visit.

Contact Auxil on 03300 884352 for a confidential discussion.