A company has been fined £20,000 for a catalogue of health and safety failings at a building site in Alderley Edge.
Work was taking place to convert an old bank into offices on London Road in the Cheshire village.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspected the site on 9 October 2020. HSE found many health and safety failings, including several areas where workers could have fallen from height, a risk of exposure to hazardous substances, and inadequate welfare facilities.
The company doing the work, Daniel Taylor Builder and Architectural Woodworker Limited, was served with three Prohibition Notices prohibiting unsafe activities and five Improvement Notices requiring the company to take remedial action to comply with the law.
A HSE investigation then found the firm had previously been the subject of enforcement action relating to unsafe work at height at both its construction sites and joinery workshop. The investigation also found company director, David Taylor, was acting as site manager at the London Road site and had failed to ensure the necessary health and safety measures were implemented to protect employees and others, despite the previous HSE interventions.
HSE guidance covering working at height can be found at: Work at height – HSE
Daniel Taylor Builder and Architectural Woodworker Limited, of Wheelwrights Yard, Congleton, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £20,000 following its early guilty plea, and ordered to pay £1,507.71 in costs at South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court on 8 February 2023.
David William Taylor, of New Road, Congleton, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to breaching section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Mr Taylor, 77, was fined £10 by the district judge taking into account totality of sentencing this defendant as a director of the company, his early guilty plea, positive references and his cooperation with HSE enforcement action. He was ordered to pay £1,507.71 in costs at South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court on 8 February 2023.
HSE inspector Sinead Martin said: “This type of proactive prosecution will highlight to the construction industry that HSE will not hesitate to prosecute companies for repeated breaches of the law.
“Good management of health and safety on site is crucial to the successful delivery of a construction project and principal contractors have an important role in managing the risks of construction work and ensuring that safety measures are implemented.”