Building firm director prosecuted for not providing hot water

Roland Couzen was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for failing to provide hot water to his employees.

HSE discovered that workers at the construction site in Openshaw had not been provided with hot water to wash off dust and other contaminants.

The building firm’s director, Roland Couzens, 67, of Sugar Lane in Rushton Spencer was fined after putting worker’s safety at risk for more than three months.

Couzens, a director at Stockport-based CSC Construction Ltd had been overseeing the project on Ashton Old Road in Openshaw between May and September 2013. The company had been involved in stripping the house bare before plastering and fitting new kitchens and bathrooms to a row of refurbished Victorian terraced houses.

Despite providing welfare facilities for the workers, Mr Couzens had failed to supply a hot or warm water supply which resulted in bricklayers and plasterers having nowhere to clean off cement and plaster which could cause burns. A roofer also had nowhere to clean the lead residues on his skin.

Matt Greenly, a HSE inspector said:  “There were around a dozen people working on the site every day so it’s astonishing that they were without hot water for more than three months.

“Couzens was brought in to oversee the project, including the health and safety of workers, but he failed to ensure this basic legal requirement was met.”

Couzens pleaded guilty to a single breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £3,102 in court costs.