15:52 PM, 11th May 2012, About 10 years ago 1
Health and safety inspectors are cracking down on landlords who fail to manage building projects on their rental properties – even if they employ professional builders to do the work.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is warning that landlords face prosecution if they flout a little known construction regulation.
Regulation 9(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 states: “Every client shall take reasonable steps to ensure that the arrangements made for managing the project, including the allocation of sufficient time and other resources, by persons with a duty under these regulations, including the client himself, are suitable to ensure that the construction work can be carried out so far as is reasonably practicable without risk to the health and safety of any person.”
The warning followed landlord Jagdev Singh Bal admitting the offence at Westminster Magistrates Court.
He was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,129, after a builder died in a fall while repairing the roof of a rental property in Hounslow, West London.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that no scaffolding was erected around the property for safe access to the roof, and that workers were carrying out the repairs with two ladders.
It is not known whether the builder who died had any experience in carrying out roof work, but the three workers he employed had no training in this type of work or in any aspects of health and safety associated with construction.
HSE inspector Loraine Charles, said:”HSE does not seek to hold Mr Bal responsible for the sad death – the precise circumstances of his death can now never be known. However, it is vital that small residential landlords appreciate that they have legal duties in respect of the health and safety of persons who carry out work on their properties.
“These duties are not onerous. They do not require clients to be experts in construction or health and safety matters, or to undertake direct supervision of their contractors, but only to make appropriate enquiries into the arrangements for carrying out the work safely.
“These enquiries and the actions they prompt may be sufficient to prevent needless death or injury.”
For more information about risk assessments for landlords, go to the HSE web site
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