House builder fined for being serial site safety offender

Grant Prior 2 years ago
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A Blackburn based house building firm has been fined £116,666 after a long history of health and safety failings.

An HSE investigation found Mullberry Homes Limited failed to plan, manage, and monitor health and safety work on construction sites across England.

The firm was given a series of Notification of Contravention (NoC) letters – official correspondence that outlines how companies need to improve and provide advice on doing so.

Mulberry also received a significant number of formal Improvement and Prohibition Notices due to unsafe work, yet the firm repeatedly failed to ensure the work being done on their sites, including in Aintree, Liverpool; Middleton, Rochdale and Thorncliffe Road, Barrow-in-Furness was carried out safely and without risks to health.

The HSE said the company failed to reach the required basic legal standards.

Its investigation also found that managing director Alistair Wilcock should have ensured measures were taken to comply with each concern when it was raised by HSE.

Mullberry Homes Limited of Blackburn pleaded guilty to breaching safety regulations and the company was fined £116,666 and ordered to pay costs of £8294.40 at Manchester Crown Court.

Wilcock of Accrington, was served with a formal caution after accepting he was guilty of breaching section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, in relation the company’s failing of regulation 13 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 on the basis of neglect.

It was accepted by HSE that responsibility for compliance with the relevant legislation was not limited to Wilcock.

HSE inspector Matt Greenly said: “Mullberry Homes and their director, Mr Wilcock had every opportunity to improve standards and maintain these improvements but they sadly failed to do so and continued to put workers and contractors at risk.

“Mullberry Homes Limited, and it’s previous company name of Paddle Limited, has a long history of formal enforcement and prosecutions from HSE and it is hoped that this case will serve as a wake-up call for them to ensure that their management is robust enough to maintain any and all health and safety improvements they make in the future.”

Latest accounts for Mulberry Homes Ltd show a pre-tax profit of £6.9m from a turnover of £18.3m fro the year to March 31 2021.

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