Company and director held to account for multiple site safety failings
A construction company and its Managing Director have been prosecuted for operating an unsafe construction site during the conversion of a building in a town south of Manchester.
Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court heard how the conditions on the site (where a former pub was being developed into two houses) were so poor it prompted a member of public to complain to the local authority.
HSE inspected the site and stopped all the work because conditions were so dangerous thereby putting workers lives at immediate risk. Enforcement notices concerned work at height issues, unprotected floor openings and health failings including the provision of welfare facilities with running water. In addition, a wall on the property was unsafe since it lacked sufficient supported to prevent it from collapsing.
HSE not informed of project
Investigators found that both the company and its director failed to put in place effective health and safety management at the start of the conversion. HSE as not notified of the project and a competent Principal Contractor was not appointed.
- Bluefig Development Ltd – of Manchester pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 22(1)(c) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, and was fined £42,900 with £3,781.24 costs.
- Faris Mousa – Company Director pleaded guilty to breaching two charges under Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £40,000 with £3,658.24 costs.
HSE inspector Deborah Walker said after the hearing:
“Bluefig Development Ltd and Mr Faris Mousa completely failed in their duties to protect the workers or members of the public from harm. This was an extremely dangerous site and it is only luck that nobody was injured or even killed.
Anyone involved in construction, no matter what size of site or project has to take the health, safety and welfare of their workers seriously. If the unstable wall had collapsed we could now be talking about the tragic death of a worker and its impact on their family rather than how lucky they are no-one was injured.”