A British property developer has been fined in excess of £40,000 after a Court found the disgruntled firm guilty of dangerous breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Healthy and Safety Executives (HSEs) were first alerted to investigate developer Altin Homes in 2014, following complaints of ‘collapsed bricks’ blocking a pavement and cycle lane bordering their construction site in Manchester.
Inspectors issued two prohibition notices and two improvement notices to the developer, along with a notification of contravention, after HSEs noted ‘poorly stored blocks’ at their insecure site.
HSEs warned that the blocks were at risk of crashing through the hoardings of the site a second time.
After failing to remove the unsafe blocks two weeks after HSE’s initial intervention, Altin Homes found themselves in Court, charged with failing to protect the safety of members of the public, failing to protect the safety of their own contractors and employees, and failing to plan, manage and monitor construction work to be carried out in a safe manner.
The developer pleaded guilty to breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was ordered to pay a fine of £40,000, along with legal costs of £3,000.
HSE inspector Matt Greenly, said: “It was nothing other than good fortune that no pedestrians were passing along the pavement when the blocks fell.
“Given the size and weight of the building blocks… there was the potential to cause serious injury or even death to both employees and the general public.
“Altin Homes 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”.