A man died after undertaking some repairs to a property – a high price to pay. Additionally Morris, Marshall & Poole who managed the property on behalf of their client were prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) for failing to ensure the work undertaken was organised and were fined £75,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11, 153.95– remember, you cannot insure against a breach of Criminal Law.
The accident happened when the firm tasked a local contractor to make repairs to a car port of a rented house from which he fell and subsequently died. The worker fell having stood on a plastic roof tile whilst working at height at approximately 2 mts. The HSE investigation found that the work had not been correctly, if at all, organized. Moreover, the estate agent failed to ensure the contractor was competent to undertake the work.
This is a sad event indeed as the HSE Inspector said that had the simplest of safety measures been put in place Mr Jay would still be alive today.
Let us be clear: The Estate Agent Morris, Marshall and Poole had a duty of care to ensure the safety of all employees; whether directly working for them or not. The excuse of “but it was a Sub-Contractor” does not stand the test of the law. It is no defence saying that the contractor had his own safety arrangements – you as the employer are responsible for all employees, staff and visitors. It is vital that activities are assessed, organised and managed.
Mr Wilcox from the HSE used this sad case to warn other Estate Agents that they must ensure any contractors are competent to undertake the task and that workers compete their work safely. A big responsibility that needs to be taken seriously – could you demonstrate you compliance with this requirement?
It is worth getting some professional advice on what is required to comply with the law. Give me call for some without commitment advice.
Don’t Chance it – get it right.