£5k fine for putting site workers’ safety at risk

Workers on the unsafe construction site at Danesgate in Lincoln.
Workers on the unsafe construction site at Danesgate in Lincoln.

A BUILDER who “put workers at risk” by having an 
unsafe construction site has been fined £5,000 at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court.

Andre Wilkin, trading as Hillen Projects, was given a spot check by the Health and Safety Executive on March 1, 2011, when he was the main contractor on a refurbishment project at Danesgate in Lincoln

The check – which was part of a national construction safety initiative – revealed Wilkin, of Market Place, Caistor, was using scaffolding with numerous defects and had a very untidy site with various slips, trips and fall hazards. The court heard Wilkin was verbally advised about the issues on the day of the visit and was sent a letter two days later detailing the actions he needed to take to bring the site up to an adequate standard.

When a follow-up inspection was done a month later the defects on the scaffolding – which people were now working on – had not been remedied. A prohibition notice was served to prevent further work on the scaffold.

The site was still not organised in a safe manner and the hazards noted during the initial visit were still present. A second prohibition notice was served to stop any further construction work until a safe means of access around the site had been established.

Wilkin 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.

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.”

As well as a £5,000 fine, Wilkin was ordered to pay £1,800 costs.