• Robert Spicer

Gloucestershire (Cinderford) Construction Site Welfare And Safety Prosecution

Construction site welfare and safety standards: £13,000 fines

Health and Safety Executive v Keith Bell and KW Bell Group Ltd (2014) Cheltenham magistrates’ court, January 26

Keith Bell, the managing director of KW Bell Group Ltd, and the company itself, have been fined for poor welfare facilities and unsafe excavation at a construction site near Cinderford, Gloucestershire.

Significant points of the case

  • In December 2013 an HSE inspector visited the site. She found a lack of hot running water and washing facilities and an unsupported excavation.

  • An improvement notice was served, requiring welfare improvements. A prohibition notice, stopping further excavation work, was also issued.

The following fines were imposed:

  • Keith Bell: £9000 plus £3500 costs under regulations 22 and 31, Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

  • KW Bell Ltd: £4000 plus £765 costs for the same offences.

Regulation 22 of the 2007 Regulations deals with the duties of a principal contractor.

Regulation 31 states, in outline, that all practicable steps shall be taken to prevent danger, including the provision of supports to prevent collapse of an excavation.

An HSE inspector commented after the case that the excavation work was a major cause for concern because there was clear evidence of excavation without adequate precautions. The consequences of the collapse of the sides of the excavation could have been devastating.

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