Silica dust exposure leads to fine

Here is a report of yet another silica dust exposure fine being handed out by the courts after workers are exposed to hazardous silica dust. The London based contractor MY Construction & Carpentry Limited (MY) has been fined £40,000 after workers were exposed to Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS).

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that the company was undertaking a project that included the refurbishment of a building at Netherall Gardens, London. A proactive site inspection in July 2016 found that workers in a basement had been dry cutting approximately 250 bricks to shape them for use in bay windows.

An investigation carried out by the HSE found that failures in health and safety management had led to numerous issues on site. These included:

  • workers not being informed of the dangers of inhaling the dust (which contained silica)
  • workers not being made aware of the correct controls to manage dust exposure
  • the work not being supervised by a competent person.

The Company (MY Construction & Carpentry Limited) pleaded guilty to breaching CDM Regulations and was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2313.10.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Prentiss Clarke-Jones said:

Over 500 construction workers are believed to die from exposure to silica dust every year. It is the biggest risk to construction workers after asbestos.

This number can be reduced by those in control of the work through adequate planning, managing and monitoring of the work on site.

MY Construction has been repeatedly warned by HSE about the dangers of silica, and has today been held to account for failing to take adequate action to protect the health and safety of its workers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.