This popped up the other day.
Generic risk assessments not suitable for task
A Hitchin-based construction company has been sentenced after a carpenter sustained nerve and tissue damage to his lower back after a fall from height.
On 2 May 2017, the employee was working for and under the control of MP Building Limited. He climbed up to remove a nail from a brace holding trusses, one of which started to fall causing the employee to fall with it. According to the HSE, raised safety decking that was used as fall mitigation within the building did not cover the whole area and left significant gaps.
The 36-year-old carpenter sustained nerve and tissue damage to his lower back, whiplash to his neck and his little finger was ripped open.
The HSE found that the risk assessments of MP Building Limited were generic. They identified falls from height, but control measures focused on scaffolding and did not mention internal falls and decking. It was also found that operatives on the site were not trained to install the safety decking.
MP Building Limited of Bilton Road, Hitchin pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Regulation 13(1) of Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £65,000 and ordered to pay £6,298.82 in costs.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Jenny Morris said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by planning work at height to ensure that suitable and sufficient measures were in place to prevent falls.”
Annoyingly the HSE inspector doesnt say anything specificaly about generic risk assessments and its just the articles headline that raises the issue.
My company issues generic risk assessments to clients and I am not comfortable with it.
I am ok with the idea of providing a generic risk assessment that they can modify, and they have that ability, but I doubt even 1% of clients bother.
Also, I would say that in 100% of cases, we dont provide a risk assessment for every risk in a clients workplace, but that they assume we do.
Again, not comfortable with this but don't know how to address it without honking other people off. Normally that doesnt bother me, but I like this job.