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PUBLIC IN ‘NEAR-MISS’ AS BLOCKS COLLAPSE

Client/Contractor ran project with multiple unsafe working practices

Altin Homes Limited has been sentenced for safety failings on a project in Cheshire during construction of residential houses and apartments at the site of a former petrol station in June 2014.

The company was in control of all construction works and acted as client and main contractor employing numerous trade workers and labourers. The site first came to the attention of HSE following the collapse of building blocks across the adjoining pavement and cycle lane.

The HSE investigation found other poorly stored blocks which were at risk of “crashing through the hoarding” for a second time. Two Prohibition Notices and two Improvement Notices, along with a Notification of Contravention were issued by HSE during the first site visits.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard that two weeks later, although some issues had been dealt with satisfactorily, the company failed to remove unsafe blocks which caused the original incident.

The company was charged with failing to protect the safety of their employees, failure to protect the safety of others including subcontractors and members of the public and one count of failing to plan, manage and monitor construction work so that it was carried out in a safe manner.

Risk of death to employees and public

Altin Homes Limited of Altin Court, 1a, Woodlands Road, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 1HG pleaded guilty at Trafford Magistrates Court to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £40,000 with £3,000 costs.

HSE inspector Matt Greenly said after the case:

“Altin Homes Limited failed in their duty to protect their workers, subcontractors and members of the public passing by this site from a foreseeable risk of serious harm.

Luckily no one was injured when the blocks fell through the site hoarding but, given the size and weight of the building blocks that fell onto the pavement and highway, there was the potential to cause serious injury or even death to both employees and the general public.

It was nothing other than good fortune that no pedestrians were passing along the pavement when the blocks fell.”

 

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