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    CDM CLIENT AND MANAGER FINED FOR FIRE SAFETY FAILURES

    Workforce and public put at risk during bar refurbishment operations  

    The owners of a new karaoke bar in Manchester risked the lives of workers and the public after a string of fire safety procedures were ignored during construction.

    HSE inspectors found flammable materials piled high to the ceiling in the basement, escape routes were not marked and in some cases were blocked entirely during a visit to the K2 site on 28 January 2009.

    The court heard the HSE inspectors were shocked at what they found. The building fire alarm had been switched off and extinguishers had not been tested for seven years. Two prohibition notices were issued closing the site. It took 14 large skips and several people more than two days to clear the waste materials.

    Chi Yip Group Ltd (turnover of £35m) and site manager Marc Royle each admitted breaching three health and safety regulations.

    One spark could have put dozens of lives at risk

    Neil Martin, the investigating inspector at HSE, said:

    “We were called in after receiving a complaint about the safety standards on site and were shocked by what we found. The basement and corridors were blocked with waste materials so it would have been extremely difficult to escape in a fire.

    There was a Chinese restaurant open to the public on the first floor and the neighbouring buildings were also occupied. Just one spark could have set light to any of the piles of cardboard, and then dozens of lives would have been put in danger.

    Chi Yip Group and Marc Royle both seemed to be ignorant of the health and safety laws that applied to them, despite having years of experience dealing with construction projects.”

    Chi Yip Group Ltd, of Middleton, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 14(1),16(a) and 21(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £6,000 with costs of £3,313.

    Marc Royle, 37, of Lambton Road, Worsley, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 38(a),39(1) and 41(1) and was fined £450 with costs of £2,710.

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