Building contractor receives fine for safety failings

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A building contractor has been fined for failing to take appropriate safety measures after construction blocks fell through site hoardings…

Altrincham-based building contractor Altin Homes was found guilty of safety failings following an accident at a site.

The firm was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after construction blocks fell through site hoardings onto a pavement.

Altin Homes was running the building works at a former petrol station on Woodlands Road. The firm was managing all construction aspects, acting as client and main contractor on the job.

HSE was alerted to issues in June 2014 after the blocks collapsed onto the pavement and cycle lane on Woodlands Road.

The investigation by HSE also revealed there were other poorly stored blocks on site, and found there was a risk of another incident. The company was ordered to remove the blocks as soon as possible.

Two prohibition notices and two improvement notices were served, alongside a notification of contravention during the first site visits.

Altin Homes reportedly dealt with some of the issue raised by the HSE investigation satisfactorily, but a second visit a fortnight later revealed the company had still not removed the unsafe blocks that had caused the original incident.

The case was brought before Trafford Magistrates’ Court. Altin Homes was charged with a number of offences, including failing to protect the safety of their employees, their subcontractors, and members of the public. The firm was also charged with one count of failing to plan, manage, and monitor construction work to ensure safety.

Pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, Altin Homes was fined £40,000 with £3,000 costs.

HSE inspector Matt Greenly said: “Altin Homes Ltd 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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