Man dies after wandering onto site

Grant Prior 14 years ago

A small contractor and two of its directors have been fined £75,000 after a member of the public died after wandering onto one of their sites in the early hours of the morning.

Brighton-based PIB (UK) Ltd of 420 Falmer Road pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,500.

Two of the company’s directors, John Blankson of 27 Glen Rise, Brighton and Steven Moore  of Falmer Road, Woodingdean also faced legal action over health and safety breaches at the site at 100 Buckingham Road, Brighton.

Blankson, who was also the client for the project, pleaded guilty to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations. He was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,465.

Moore was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,500 after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.  He was also disqualified as a director for five years.

Lewes Crown Court heard how on Sunday 29th June 2008, Edward Dean, 24, had been out socialising when in the early hours of Monday 30th June, he wandered onto the construction site.

PIB was refurbishing a large semi-detached house and turning it into five flats. The site wasn’t properly secured, and Mr Dean was able to enter the work area.  Mr Dean tripped over an unprotected edge and fell 2.4 metres into a basement courtyard. He was found dead later in the morning.

Following the hearing, HSE Inspector Denis Bodger said: “Unmanned construction sites should be properly secured such that people and especially children cannot unknowingly wander into places of danger.  Edward Dean should never have been able to enter the site where there were unprotected edges.

“It was both illegal and irresponsible for PIB UK Ltd and the company directors to disregard the importance of security on this site – leaving obvious hazards that in this tragic case resulted in the unnecessary loss of a young life.

“Sites can be easily and cheaply  secured by providing suitable fencing or hoarding, using lockable gates and providing clear signage. Had PIB and its directors taken these simple precautions Edward Dean’s tragic death could have been avoided.”

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