A construction company and its Managing Director have been prosecuted for operating an unsafe construction site during the conversion of a building in Bollington.
Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court heard how the conditions on the site, where a former pub was being changed into two houses, were so poor it prompted a a member of public to complain to the local authority.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspected the site and had to stop all the work on the building as the conditions were so dangerous and putting workers lives at immediate risk. In total HSE inspectors served three prohibition notices and two improvements notices for safety failings that ranges from work at height issues, missing floorings with no protection and health failings including the provision of welfare facilities with running water.
HSE’s inspection also found an extremely unsafe wall on the property that had not been sufficiently supported to prevent it from collapsing.
The HSE investigation found that both the company and its director did not put in place effective health and safety management at the start of the conversion. They failed to notify HSE of the project, appoint a competent principal contractor or ensure they had suitable and sufficient measures to reduce risks to workers and members of the public.
Bluefig Development Ltd, of Dale House, 35 Dale Street, Manchester pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 22(1)(c) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, and was fined £42,900 with £3,781.24 costs.
Company Director Faris Mousa pleaded guilty to breaching two charges under Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £40,000 with £3,658.24 costs.
HSE inspector Deborah Walker said after the hearing: “Bluefig Development Ltd and Mr Faris Mousa completely failed in their duties to protect the workers or members of the public from harm. This was an extremely dangerous site and it is only luck that nobody was injured or even killed. Anyone involved in construction, no matter what size of site or project has to take the health, safety and welfare of their workers seriously. If the unstable wall had collapsed we could now be talking about the tragic death of a worker and its impact on their family rather than how lucky they are no-one was injured.”
Notes to editors
- 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. www.hse.gov.uk
- More information regarding safe working in construction industry can be found at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/index.htm
- More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
- HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk