Developer fined for “Dickensian” site conditions

Grant Prior 4 years ago
Share

A Plymouth property developer put the lives of builders at risk by letting them work near unprotected holes up to nine metres deep at a “Dickensian” site in Cardiff.

Cardiff Magistrates heard that John Pinn was refurbishing two Victorian terraced properties in Cathays, Cardiff, in November 2012 when the failings were uncovered by an HSE inspector following a complaint.

The inspector found both houses had been gutted and additional floors were being installed.

There were large, unprotected holes several metres deep in the floors that posed a danger and unprotected open edges on all three upper floors of both houses, where workers could easily have fallen to the concrete basement floor below.

General site conditions were described by HSE as “Dickensian” with substantial accumulations of combustible waste, no fire-fighting or fire-detection equipment, electrical distribution boards with water pouring over them and no welfare facilities, such as a working toilet and basic washing equipment.

The court was told that Pinn also failed to notify HSE that he had started a construction project likely to last more than 30 days.

He had not appointed a Principal Contractor or a co-ordinator to plan, manage and monitor the work. The HSE were therefore unaware that the site existed until the complaint was made.

Pinn, of Powisland Drive, Plymouth, pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and one breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was fined a total of £4,600.

Deputy District Judge Jim Davies said that it was clear Pinn “was endeavouring to do the work on the cheap” and had “profited by not implementing the required health and safety procedures”.

Speaking after the case, Inspector Liam Osborne said: “Mr Pinn knew what his responsibilities were under the law, and must have known the serious risks that his builders faced whilst working for him because he visited the site every day.

“The site conditions were Dickensian in the extreme. Planning construction work properly and managing what goes on is vital in keeping workers safe.

“Any holes should be covered and proper edge protection fitted.”

Latest news

Hinkley chief buyer joins Murphy

Laing O'Rourke procurement head Ian Holcroft joins rival contractor
9 hours ago

Lovell poaches Quintain director for London MD role

Ben Giddens joins as London regional managing director
8 mins ago

Skanska schools director joins Wates

Martin Kramer joins Wates as Home Counties pre-construction director
13 hours ago

Clugston to start £13m Leeds College of Building job

Phase 2 of Hunslet Campus in Leeds gets underway
30 mins ago

Architect trio advance £200m Gateshead Quay plan

Plan for conference and exhibition centre to be submitted by the end of next year
13 hours ago

O’Rourke firms fined £3.8m after concrete factory death

Court hears how worker was crushed by 11 tonne concrete panel
17 hours ago

Lendlease profit rebounds despite Scottish problems

UK construction business returns to strong profit
16 hours ago

McAlpine to start HMRC office at Cardiff central square

Work to start on fourth major office build at £400m city centre regen scheme
17 hours ago

Prime Minister summons house builders to strategy meeting

Theresa May looks to boost construction levels
16 hours ago

Muse leads £75m Dartford town regen scheme

Work to start in spring 2019 on Westgate mixed-use scheme
1 day ago

BAM submits £32m Jedburgh campus plan

Work to start in spring on borders all-through school campus
17 hours ago

Trio picked for Midlands multi-storey parking plan

Bourne Parking, Blackwells and Dawnus in line for multi-storey park and ride programme
1 day ago

Multiplex staff let go as sites run down

Site office teams broken up as schemes nearing completion
2 days ago

Bouygues set for £300m Cavendish physics lab

Cambridge University awards first contract under new framework
2 days ago

Murphy to install 60km underground power cable

Contractor to smash UK record for horizontal drilling
2 days ago

McMullen lands £11m cladding package from O’Rourke

Specialist to start on site in April at Liverpool cancer hospital
2 days ago

Bellway delivers 11% rise in home completions

Bellway plans to open new division in the north as demand surges
2 days ago

Mace seeks to boost transport consultancy

Mace makes two senior appointments to drive airport and highways work
2 days ago

Lidl to build its largest UK warehouse in Peterborough

New £80m warehouse is discount giant's 6th to be announced this year
2 days ago

Concrete problems hit Hinkley Point tunnels

Material needs to be replaced after failing quality checks at nuclear plant
3 days ago

Interserve lenders call in advisers amid cash crunch fears

Interserve says work underway to give greater clarity on current trading and provisions
3 days ago

Balfour/Mott seals £115m area 10 road upkeep extension

Highways England opts to extend Area 10 assets support contract
3 days ago

Morgan Sindall nets £16m fisheries HQ

Existing Cefas buildings in Lowestoft will be refurbished before new office is built
3 days ago

Construction growth to stagnate next year

Construction faces recession if promised infrastructure spend delayed
3 days ago

M+W wins £25m Newton’s apple tree lab job

Work to start in December on National Physical Laboratory measuring lab
3 days ago

Seven winners on £200m Manchester roads deal

Four-year framework starts in January for highways work across the city
3 days ago

Sisk clinches £190m Great Ormond Street phase 4

Sisk beats Skanska to major clinical building project at London children's hospital
7 days ago

Carillion in talks to sell healthcare business

Contractor approached by a number of serious potential buyers
6 days ago

Network Rail secures £48bn for 2019 – 2024 programme

Funding shake-up with new gateway system to avoid overspends on major projects
7 days ago

Virtual reality backpack allows site walk throughs

Wearable computer takes VR to all parts of buildings under construction
6 days ago

Contractor services