Housebuilder prosecuted for failing to fence off construction site

A South Wales housebuilder has been given a two year conditional discharge for repeatedly ignoring warnings to fence off a potentially dangerous construction site.

Caerphilly Magistrates’ Court heard today (25 July) that Stuart Daniels, trading as S&R Builders, failed to fence off the site at the Black Prince pub, on the B4251 road at Ynysddu, near Caerphilly, between 9 November 2012 and 9 January 2013, despite being advised to do so by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

HSE first inspected the site on 22 October 2012 and found the site posed a risk because there was open access and excavation work had already started. Stuart Daniel was given verbal advice to fence the site.

HSE carried out a second inspection on 9 November and found that the excavations were even more extensive, yet still the site was unfenced. Mr Daniels received written guidance to restrict access, but a further visit on 14 December revealed that nothing had changed, despite the fact that the excavations were now approximately 3.5 metres deep and represented a significant fall risk.

At a fourth inspection on 9 January 2013 some fencing has been erected, but it was inadequate and the site was still easy to access through a driveway.

Stuart Daniels, trading as S&R Builders, of Lawn Terrace, Crumlin, Caerphilly, was sentenced to a two year conditional discharge, ordered to pay £859.85 in costs and a victim surcharge of £15 after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector David Kirkpatrick said:

“There is a clear legal requirement to adequately fence off construction sites that pose safety risks for inquisitive children, vulnerable people and others. This site posed a risk to the general public and Stuart Daniels was given advice to fence it off shortly after the first inspection, yet he chose to ignore that advice.

“Fatalities have occurred in the past when people have entered inadequately fenced construction sites. With the school holidays underway, this prosecution serves as a timely reminder to others to ensure they prevent such sites from becoming dangerous playgrounds for children.”

Plus Safety Comment: What does it take to convince some people that the authorities are serious!——-

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