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Failure to plan on multi-storey refurbishment put over 100 lives at risk

Date:
23 December 2015

A Company carrying out construction work to convert an eight storey former Ford office block into 384 flats has been prosecuted for safety failings that put many at risk.

On the 26 May 2015, HSE was contacted by the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) to inform them of concerns for men sleeping on the construction site at Trafford House, Station Way, Basildon, Essex.

HSE carried out a joint inspection with ECFRS the same day and found numerous failings on site. HSE concluded that there was a significant risk to life in the event of a fire and issued a prohibition notice preventing workers from sleeping on site.

Forty eight workers had to be re-housed into safer sleeping accommodation. At the time of the inspection approximately 120 men were working across the site. A second prohibition notice closed the entire site until the appropriate steps had been taken to protect all workers from the dangers posed by fire.

RGB (Plastering and Construction) Limited, of Monkmoor Road Shrewsbury, pleaded guilty/not guilty to breaching Regulation 29(a) and (c) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. They were fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,130.

After the hearing HSE Inspector Adam Hills said: “This case highlights the importance of ensuring those who undertake construction work have the relevant skills, knowledge, training and experience to do so.

“There doesn’t have to be an injury or incident for HSE to take action. If you irresponsibly endanger the lives of those who are simply trying to earn a living then HSE can and will take proactive action to protect them.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) 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. hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

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