• Robert Spicer

Bathurst Mews basement excavation: serious safety breaches: two companies fined

Basement excavation: serious safety breaches: companies fined

Health and Safety Executive v Lifehouse (London) Ltd and Nu Space (Design) Ltd (2016) Westminster magistrates’ court, December 9

Statutory reference: Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM).

Two London based construction companies have been fined following an HSE inspection which identified serious safety breaches on a double basement construction project.

The facts

  • Emergency services were called to a property at Bathurst Mews, London, where Lifehouse (London) Ltd was the principal contractor for excavation work to form a double basement was being carried out.

  • A labourer with a broken arm was rescued and concerns were reported to the HSE.

  • The HSE inspection found that workers were at risk from falling into deep excavations and there were no propping arrangements to ensure the stability of excavations or of the existing building.

  • The inspector immediately closed down the site. An independent consultant had raised the same concerns a few days earlier but the recommendations had not been put into effect.

  • Lifehouse had appointed Nu Space as the contractor for the work and one of its directors as site manager. Neither company appointed a competent person to inspect the excavations to ensure that they were safe.

The decision

Lifehouse (London) Ltd was fined £24,000 plus £1400 costs for a breach of regulation 13, CDM.

Nu Space (Design ) Ltd was fined £20,000 plus £1000 costs under regulation 15, CDM.

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