Phillip Affleck – a building contractor from Cheshire – has been found guilty of serious health and safety breaches, in addition to failing to provide sufficient welfare facilities for his workers at a building site.

Following a complaint from a member of the public, which was lodged with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), an inspection was carried out on the site where former NHS buildings were being converted.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard that HSE inspectors were met with restricted access to the site, and the main building could only be entered by using ladders and planks.

Other site issues also showed there was a lack of consideration for workers’ health and safety.

There was inadequate protection to prevent sandblasting dust from being inhaled, and there were no bathroom facilities for workers to use, though they were carrying out groundworks and bricklaying work and needed to wash their hands to avoid contamination.

An Improvement Notice was issued to Mr Affleck by HSE, to ensure that sanitary, washing and rest facilities were incorporated on site, and they also ordered for work to be stopped until scaffolding was erected.

Mr Affleck was ordered to pay £4,000 as well as costs of £2,495 after admitting to breaches of Regulation 22 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and Regulation 7 of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002.

HSE Inspector Deborah Walker, who was involved with the case, said: “It is hoped that this case serves as a lesson to all Principal Contractors that they must provide suitable toilets, washing facilities which include hot and cold running water and suitable, sheltered rest facilities for all workers engaged on their sites.”