A construction firm and its boss have been hit with nearly £90,000 in court fines and costs after admitting running an ‘extremely dangerous ‘ building site.
Conditions at the site, the former Royal Oak Hotel on Princess Street, Bollington, were so dangerous that the lives of workers were put at immediate risk.
A concerned member of the public raised the alarm and inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) swooped in to stop the work being carried out to convert the former pub into two houses.
Inspectors found safety failings that ranged from work at height issues, missing flooring with no protection and health failings, including the provision of welfare facilities with running water.
The HSE also found an extremely unsafe wall that had not been sufficiently supported to prevent it from collapsing.
An investigation found that both the company - Bluefig Development Ltd - and its director Faris Mousa, 52, of Bollington, did not put in place effective health and safety management at the start of the conversion.
They failed to notify the HSE of the project, appoint a competent principal contractor or ensure they had suitable and sufficient measures to reduce risks to workers and members of the public.
At Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court, Bluefig Development Ltd, of Dale Street, Manchester, admitted two breaches under Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 22(1)(c) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. It was fined £42,900 with £3,781.24 costs. The firm’s managing director, of Dunbah Lane, admitted two breaches under Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was fined £40,000 with £3,658.24 costs.
HSE inspector Deborah Walker said: “Bluefig Development Ltd and Faris Mousa completely failed in their duties to protect the workers or members of the public from harm.
!This was an extremely dangerous site and it is only luck that nobody was injured or even killed.
“Anyone involved in construction, no matter what size of site or project has to take the health, safety and welfare of their workers seriously.
“If the unstable wall had collapsed we could now be talking about the tragic death of a worker and its impact on their family rather than how lucky they are no-one was injured.”