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    DEVELOPER FAILED ON BASIC DUTIES

    Bradford property developer fined for serious safety failings

     

    HQ Leisure Limited, of Bradford has been ordered to pay £20k in fines and prosecution costs after endangering the lives of construction workers on project in Hull.

    On 23 February 2010 the company pleaded guilty to six charges under HSW Act 1974, CDM 2007 and WAH 2005 all relating to a development of apartments in 2007.

    Deficiencies could have caused fatality

    Magistrates heard that inspectors HSE found a number of safety problems that could have caused a serious injury or fatality at a site on Albion Street, Hull, in October 2007, where a row of four-storey terrace buildings was being converted into 28 apartments.

    The problems included:

    • scaffolding not properly inspected and dangerously unstable due to missing structural supports;
    • roofing materials thrown from 15m platform into an area where other contractors were working;
    • unsuitable ladders used to access upper floors;
    • insufficient and unsecured boards in roof space putting workers at risk of falling through the ceiling joists;
    • voids created by the demolition unguarded to prevent falls and;
    • no toilets and inadqquate washing facilities

    Blatent disregard of safe working

    HSE Inspector Stephen Hargreaves commented: “HQ Leisure Limited blatantly disregarded the importance of a safe working site, leaving their workers on Albion Street at risk of serious injury or even death. “Many people are killed on construction sites every year, and suitable planning and risk management is vital to prevent unnecessary risk.

    “That clearly didn’t happen on this occasion and there are a number of simple, practical measures that could and should have been taken by HQ Leisure Ltd.

    “Property developers must be aware of their duties towards the health and safety of their workers, and HSE will continue to take action where we find significant risks to workers.”

    Prosecution highlights HSE campaign

    This prosecution coincides with the HSE ‘Shattered Lives’ campaign, which aims to help reduce slips, trips and falls in a number of key sectors, including construction and refurbishments.

    These incidents cost British industry £800m a year.

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