The HSE stopped all work on two construction sites following tip-offs of dangerous safety breaches, temporarily closing a pub conversion in Cheshire and a basement excavation in London.
The HSE was alerted to problems at Bluefig Development’s pub conversion in Bollington, Cheshire following a call from a concerned member of the public to the local authority.
The HSE stopped all the work on the site as the conditions were putting workers lives at immediate risk.
In the London case, the HSE inspected the basement excavation after being prompted by the emergency services, which had been called to rescue a worker who had broken his arm at the site in Bathurst Mews, Westminster.
After the accident, the HSE found that workers were still at risk from falling into deep excavations and there were no propping arrangements to ensure the stability of excavations or the existing building.
On the Cheshire pub conversion, Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court heard how HSE inspectors served three prohibition notices and two improvements notices, including for work at height issues, missing floorings with no protection and health failings including the lack of running water.
An independent consultant had raised concerns about the excavations at Bathurst Mews but the recommendations had been ignored.
Its investigation found that Bluefig and its director Faris Mousa did not put in place effective health and safety management, failed to notify HSE of the project, appoint a competent principal contractor or ensure measures to reduce risks to workers and members of the public.
Bluefig Development, of Dale Street, Manchester pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Actand Regulation 22(1)(c) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, and was fined £42,900 with £3,781 costs.
Mousa pleaded guilty to breaching two charges under Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £40,000 with £3,658 costs.
Meanwhile, Westminster Magistrates Court heard that an independent consultant had raised concerns about the excavations at Bathurst Mews but the recommendations had been ignored.
Principal contractor Lifehouse (London) had appointed subcontractor Nu Space Design to carry out the excavation work, and one its directors as the site manager. However, neither company appointed a competent person to inspect the excavations to ensure they were safe.
Lifehouse (London) of Stanmore, Harrow, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and was fined £24,000 plus £1,141 in costs.
Nu Space (Design) of Hayes, Hillingdon, pleaded guilty to breaching CDM Regulation 15(2) and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £1,067 in costs.