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Housebuilder prosecuted for failing to fence off construction site

Date:
25 July 2013

A South Wales housebuilder has been given a two year conditional discharge for repeatedly ignoring warnings to fence off a potentially dangerous construction site.

Caerphilly Magistrates’ Court heard today (25 July) that Stuart Daniels, trading as S&R Builders, failed to fence off the site at the Black Prince pub, on the B4251 road at Ynysddu, near Caerphilly, between 9 November 2012 and 9 January 2013, despite being advised to do so by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

HSE first inspected the site on 22 October 2012 and found the site posed a risk because there was open access and excavation work had already started. Stuart Daniel was given verbal advice to fence the site.

HSE carried out a second inspection on 9 November and found that the excavations were even more extensive, yet still the site was unfenced. Mr Daniels received written guidance to restrict access, but a further visit on 14 December revealed that nothing had changed, despite the fact that the excavations were now approximately 3.5 metres deep and represented a significant fall risk.

At a fourth inspection on 9 January 2013 some fencing has been erected, but it was inadequate and the site was still easy to access through a driveway.

Stuart Daniels, trading as S&R Builders, of Lawn Terrace, Crumlin, Caerphilly, was sentenced to a two year conditional discharge, ordered to pay £859.85 in costs and a victim surcharge of £15 after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector David Kirkpatrick said:

"There is a clear legal requirement to adequately fence off construction sites that pose safety risks for inquisitive children, vulnerable people and others. This site posed a risk to the general public and Stuart Daniels was given advice to fence it off shortly after the first inspection, yet he chose to ignore that advice.

"Fatalities have occurred in the past when people have entered inadequately fenced construction sites. With the school holidays underway, this prosecution serves as a timely reminder to others to ensure they prevent such sites from becoming dangerous playgrounds for children."

Further information on construction safety can be found online at www.hse.gov.uk/construction

Notes to editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. Section 27 (2) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007states: "Where necessary in the interests of health and safety, a construction site shall, so far as is reasonably practicable and in accordance with the level of risk posed, either – (a) have its perimeter identified by suitable signs and be so arranged that its extent is readily identifiable; or (b) be fenced off."

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