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HSE PROSECUTION STRATEGY

Exposure to risk and failure to act on advice targeted

A developer has been prosecuted after failing to heed advice about poor standards on an apartment development. Mr Mir Baz Khan of Rotherham has been ordered to pay £8k for breaches of CDM Regulations 2007 and the HSW Act 1974.

The prosecution followed three visits by HSE when each visit resulted in the site being closed. Despite significant advice and information the project continued to operate without effective safety management. There was inadequate welfare and serious lapses in the standards of scaffolding, electrical installations and fire precautions.

Construction Inspector Rob Cooper said: “HSE has gone to great lengths to help Mr Khan but he failed repeatedly to act upon the good advice he was given.  If he had employed professionals to manage his site he could have avoided the significant fine awarded against him today. As a result of that poor judgement, Mr Khan now has a criminal record. ”

Comment: Over the last three years HSE has aimed to increase the number of prosecutions based upon the degree of exposure to risk. The HSE Sheffield office responsible for the above prosecution is reported to have instituted 13 such ‘non injury’ prosecutions in the last 15 months with defendants (on average) paying over £6k in fines and costs incurred by the prosecution in addition to their own legal costs. The recent House of Lords decision in the Chargot case may provide greater impetus to this approach.

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