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HSE USE PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR TO TRACE OFFENDER

Contractor tracked down and given custodial sentence

Aztec Demolition (Scot Ian Richardson T/A) has been sentenced to four months suspended custodial sentence, 200 hours community service and ordered to pay costs of £1,200 after safety failings were found across two construction sites.

HSE received a complaint in March 2014 from a member of the public living close to a former Hospital site in Buckinghamshire concerning activities taking place on the premises.

Inspectors found a catalogue of failings including the presence of asbestos containing materials among building debris, demolition arrangements not recorded in writing, and evidence of unsafe work at height/use of construction machinery, poor site security and a lack of welfare facilities. There was also a serious risk of injury from collapse of partially demolished buildings.

The project client was prosecuted under the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM) and fined a total amount of £30,000 in October 2015.

Private investigator used to find contractor

HSE sought to contact the contractor without success until in in June 2015 when HSE was alerted to unsafe working practices at a site in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. On visiting the site HSE found the same contractor in control of workers dismantling parts of the building in an unsafe manner to recover recyclables. No risk assessment had been carried out regarding asbestos containing materials.

The client told HSE the contractor was working without their knowledge on the site and had alerted the police. Immediate enforcement action was taken to control risks on site and HSE subsequently engaged a private investigator to track down the contractor who had failed to respond to HSE.

Poor planning has no place in demolition

Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court heard that Scot Ian Richardson – Aztec Demolition T/A was the contractor in control for both projects. After a trial Scot Ian Richardson was found guilty of two breaches of the CDM Regulations 2007, one breach of The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and one breach of The Health and Safety at Work Act etc,1974

Mr Richardson was sentenced to four months suspended custodial sentence and 200 hours community service order. He was also ordered to pay costs of £1,200.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Rauf Ahmed said:

“Sole traders who control workers to demolish and dismantle structures must understand their legal obligations. This is a high risk industry in which poor planning has no place. Family members expect their loved ones to come home in one piece.

Clients have a key role in safely directing construction projects. Effective arrangements at the start can have an amplified positive impact down the various stages to completion, including making informed and competent appointments”

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