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HOMEBUILDERS FINED OVER APPALLING SITE STANDARDS

Miracle’ that nobody injured by shocking example of bad management

Kubik Homes Ltd and Bellway Developments Ltd have been prosecuted after “appalling” standards were uncovered at a project in the London Borough of Merton. City of London Magistrates’ Court heard that problems found included:

  • access to a first floor under construction via a makeshift ‘staircase’ formed from a bag of sand and piles of blocks, leading to the roof of a hut. The first floor was accessed from the hut roof via wooden planks, spanning the gap between them. There was no edge protection to prevent falls.
  • 2.5 metre-deep excavation with no precautions taken to prevent people falling into the excavation or the sides collapsing;
  • work areas around the site which were uneven, littered with obstructions and trip hazards;
  • building materials stacked excessively high and stored haphazardly;
  • very poor welfare facilities e.g. filthy toilet with a leaking cold water supply.

HSE prosecution of the principal contractor and subcontractor followed visits by Inspectors to the site on on “several occasions”. Kubik Homes Ltd had already been served with four Prohibition Notices and one of the notices was breached while HSE Inspectors were on site.

Shocking example of “bad management”

HSE served three Prohibition Notices to Kubik Homes ordering all work on site to cease until health and safety standards had been improved. On returning some improvements had been made but managers on site lacked sufficient training, experience or a recognised qualification in site management. It was evident that work was still continuing in an unsafe manner and all work on the site was ordered to to stop until competent site management was put in place

Kubik Homes Ltd, of High Street, Wimbledon, pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety etc at Work Act 1974. The firm was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,426.50. Bellway Developments Ltd, of Coniston Road, Bromley, Kent, also pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Act 1974. It was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,384.50.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE’s inspector Loraine Charles said:

Although there was no incident, the potential danger to the workers was very high.

Conditions on this site were simply appalling. This is a shocking example of bad management of a construction site and it is a miracle that no one was injured.

Both these companies failed to understand the nature of their duties under health and safety law and failed to sufficiently improve conditions on the site despite repeated interventions by the HSE. We will not hesitate to prosecute companies that behave in this way.”

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One Response to “HOMEBUILDERS FINED OVER APPALLING SITE STANDARDS”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 9th NOVEMBER 2011 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] Kubik Homes Ltd – HSW Act S3 management of project: £8,000 […]