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CONTRACTOR FINED FOR IGNORING ADVICE AND RUNNING RISK

Failure to act on HSE advice during ‘blitz’ ends in pre-emptive prosecution

Hillen Projects (Andre Wilkin T/A) has been fined after an HSE spot check revealed an unsafe refurbishment scheme in Lincoln during a national construction safety initiative on 1 March 2011.

A scaffold, though not being used at the time, was found to have numerous defects and the site itself was very untidy, with numerous slips, trips and fall hazards.

Lincoln Magistrates heard (11 July) that Mr Wilkin was verbally advised about the three issues on the day of the visit and sent a letter two days later detailing the actions needed to bring the site up to an adequate standard. Four weeks later a follow-up inspection found the scaffold in use and still in a defective condition and further work was prohibited.

In addition, the site was not organised in a safe manner and hazards noted during the initial visit were still present. A further Prohibition Notice stopped further construction work until a safe means of access around the site had been established.

Builder offered advice and opportunity to rectify problems

Andre Baudouin Wilkin, of Market Place, Caistor, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 27(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and Regulation 4(1) (c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 for his failings. He was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,800.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Martin Waring said:

“Mr Wilkin was offered plenty of advice and had the opportunity to rectify the problems that were identified. Instead he chose to continue putting workers at risk.

It is essential that construction work, particularly work at height and site organisation, is properly planned to ensure that appropriate precautions are in place.”

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