Construction firms fined £965,000 over health and safety failings

Construction firms fined £965,000 over health and safety failings

Two prominent construction companies have been fined £965,000 in Court upon being found guilty of serious health and safety failings.

West Midlands-based construction and engineering firm BAM Nuttall and Kent-based steel fabricator McNealy Brown found themselves facing a legal battle after a worker was seriously injured in January 2015.

The two companies had signed onto a £12 million contract with Network Rail to replace floors, roofs and cladding on a number of railway stations and their waiting rooms, Croydon Crown Court was told.

On one of these jobs, a 31-year-old industrial painter named Mr Welstead fell through the ceiling of a passenger waiting room and sustained severe ligament damage. He has since been unable to return to work.

BAM Nuttall and McNealy Brown were charged with failing to put in place proper procedures and safeguards in order to prevent an incident such as this from happening.

The Court heard that Mr Welstead and a colleague received only a very brief induction to the site, which did not include any information regarding the appropriate risk assessment. Had they received this information, they would have known that the roofs were fragile and that workers were to wear full body harnesses at all times, it was argued.

The two companies pleaded guilty to the charges and were both handed respective fines.

BAM Nuttall was ordered to pay £900,000, while McNealy Brown was fined £65,000.

Commenting on the case, a spokesperson said: “The fines handed out today send a powerful message to the industry that the safety of workers on the railways is absolutely paramount, and proper risk assessments and briefings must be carried out and followed.”