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    COMPANIES FINED FOR UNSAFE EXCAVATION WORK

    Principal contractor and groundworks contractor failed to control collapse risk

    Churchill Properties (Southern) Ltd and Moseley Green Services Ltd have been prosecuted for unsafe excavation work.

    Staines Magistrates’ Court heard how an HSE inspector visited Leys Road Oxshott, in Surrey on 19 May 2010 where construction work was underway on the retaining basement walls of two new houses. Churchill Properties were the principal contractor and Moseley Green Services constructing the foundations.

    The inspector found a significant risk of the excavation collapsing or materials falling and injuring workers. A Prohibition Notice was served stopping work on the site and an Improvement Notice was served a week later requiring poroper planning, managing and monitoring the construction phase.

    PC failed to manage and monitor

    Churchill Properties (Southern) Ltd, of Melbourne Grove, Southwark, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. The company was fined £2,800 and ordered to pay costs of £2,917.

    Moseley Green Services Ltd, of Woolmer Way, Whitehill, Bordon Hampshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 31 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. The company was fined £2,800 and ordered to pay costs of £2,917.

    After the hearing, HSE Inspector Denis Bodger said:

    “Every year people are seriously injured or killed while working in excavations, many of these are due to trench collapses or falling materials. Fortunately in this instance, work was stopped before anyone was hurt.

    Principal contractors should properly manage and monitor the work that goes on at their sites. All excavation work should be planned and carried out under the directions of a competent supervisor. Workers should be given clear instructions.

    Excavations should be created at safe angles and properly supported, otherwise there is a serious risk of collapse.”

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