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    HSE BASEMENT BLITZ LEADS TO PROSECUTION

    Firm failed to provided proper support for deep excavation

    Darma Limited has been fined over £13,000 after an HSE inspection revealed dangerous conditions during a basement construction project in London. The inspection was carried out during a “clampdown” on poor safety conditions on basement projects in November 2013.

    Those working on site were exposed to extremely dangerous conditions whilst working in and around excavations up to 4m in depth.

    Westminster Magistrates court heard the excavation under existing buildings poses significant dangers and safe systems of work must be in place at all times. These include:

    • TW Engineer – appointment of a temporary works engineer
    • Management – clear and competent site management and
    • Temporary support – adequate shoring and propping of all excavations.

    Darma Limited failed in its duty to provide any of these measures thereby putting workers at risk of death.

    Deep unsupported excavations throughout the basement

    The company were fined £13,400 and ordered to pay £4,719 in costs after admitting a breach of Regulation 31(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

    After the hearing, HSE Inspector Dominic Long said:

    “Conditions on this site were appalling with deep unsupported excavations throughout the basement. This not only put the large number of operatives in the basement at risk of death but could also have led to the collapse of the building itself.

    Darma Limited showed scant regard for the safety of the workers they were responsible for, it was extremely fortunate no-one was seriously injured or killed.

    HSE will take robust action against any company or individual putting lives at risk. This prosecution along with the level of fine demonstrates that companies willing to disregard the safety of workers should expect to face severe consequences.”

    See details of the latest HSE Basement Blitz

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