Developer fined for “Dickensian” site conditions

Grant Prior 5 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

Brighton Uni starts bid race for £20m academic building

Six floor building will be located next to the Preston barracks redevelopment site
39 mins ago

Gary Neville £200m Manchester tower gets the final nod

39-storey Deansgate skyscraper complex will be home to a 5-star hotel, luxury flats and offices
22 hours ago

Thames Tideway TBMs placed for big drive

Tunnelling to start later this year on 12km central section - picture special
21 hours ago

Contractor fined over unsafe fleet of cherry pickers

HSE investigation finds lack of maintenance regime
15 hours ago

Network Rail bans retentions to support supply chain

CP6 overhaul sees switch to project bank accounts with Tier 1 firms told to pay in 28 days
2 days ago

ISG clinches £34m Twickenham campus scheme

Firm to deliver 160,000 sq ft teaching block for Richmond upon Thames College
22 hours ago

HB Reavis raids Argent for major Waterloo scheme boss

Joe Martin joins as UK construction director for 1m sq ft Elizabeth House job
2 days ago

Scotland to require sprinklers in all new social housing

Sprinklers to be compulsory in all social housing of over 10 people
2 days ago

Perfect Circle wins £300m Bristol Uni campus

AECOM, Gleeds and Pick Everard JV signed up for Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus
2 days ago

Single alliance plan for all smart motorways work

Highways England floats radical alliancing plan using three main contractors
2 days ago

Berkeley Group warns profits to drop 30% next year

London house builder's profit hits high water mark of £935m
2 days ago

Boost your online presence – join the new Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers will showcase their products, services and latest stories
2 months ago

£400m north west small projects framework launched

Procure North West (Lite) framework to cover projects up to £1m and M&E work
2 days ago

More than half of construction workers in London from EU

Brexit alarm over Capital's reliance on foreign labour
2 days ago

Severfield margins restored to 8% target

Steelwork contractor's profit rises by nearly 20% to £23.5m
2 days ago

Galliford Try bags £45m Leeds Beckett sports research hub

Demolition to start next month at the Headingley campus
2 days ago

Mears to help homeless in £75m housing deal

Contractor to buy and refurb 365 homes in Waltham Forest
2 days ago

Sellafield teams cut budget overruns in half

Sellafield clean-up facing £900m overspend despite improved delivery
2 days ago

Network Rail starts race for £5bn trio of trackwork deals

The 10-year alliance deals will be let to designer/contractor JVs
3 days ago

Multiplex bags £400m New Scotland Yard redevelopment

Multiplex to start six-tower Westminster Broadway scheme in January
3 days ago

Kier defends fire safety strategy after Glasgow blaze

Contractors had agreed safeguards in place as repair estimates hit £100m
3 days ago

McCarthy & Stone boss to step down after profit warning

Retirement home builder to streamline after poor spring sales
3 days ago

Capita sells Constructionline to private equity giant

Procurement and supply chain specialist sold for £160m
3 days ago

McLaren lands new HQ for consultant Dar Group

John F Hunt to start demolition work in August to make way for new nine-storey scheme
4 days ago

Countryside strikes deal for 5,000 private rental homes

Deal with family private rental specialist allows Countryside to expand its partnerships business
3 days ago

Balfour Beatty fined £500,000 for white finger exposure

Court hears how workers were exposed to hand-arm vibration risk for nine years
4 days ago

On-site training boost to ease skills shortages

New £22m Construction Skills Fund now open for applications
4 days ago

Chandler promoted to Wates board

Wates MD, Paul Chandler, ushers in nearly £3bn of new business
4 days ago

Legal firm moves into cost consultancy

Blake Morgan hires former Aecom director to head project management and cost consultancy
4 days ago

Fire destroys Kier restoration of Glasgow School of Art

Second major blaze in four years reduces £35m of repair work to ashes
6 days ago

Contractor services