Builder charged after HSE rule ‘lives were put at risk’

A builder and project manager has been forced to pay almost £13,000 after the Health and Safety Executive ruled that he failed in his duty to protect workers and visitors on site.

The Cheshire tradesman pleaded guilty to a number of health and safety oversights on a project involving a full shop trip out and a multi-story conversion.

The warning signs were there

Formerly a teacher, Peter Lawrence had been warned multiple times before eventually being charged.

HSE inspectors identified numerous issues between November 2013 and April 2014, serving two Notifications of Contravention, three Prohibition Notices and four Improvement Notices.

The HSE were initially tipped off to potential hazards on the site in 2013 after a complaint was lodged about a possible asbestos disturbance.

A fine line

The careless construction worker was charged with one count of failing to plan, manage and monitor construction work so that it was carried out in a safe manner, one count of failing to provide adequate fire fighting and fire alarm equipment on site and two counts of failing to comply with an Improvement Notice.

After pleading guilty, he was fined £8,000 in addition to £4,802 costs and a £120 victim sub charge.

Staying legal

When it comes to staying legal, builders would be wise to keep up-to-date. The HSE are strict when it comes to enforcing their laws – failure to have correct employers’ liability insurance, for example, can result in a fine of £2,500 per employee, per day.

That said, small business health and safety regulations can be confusing. That’s why we’ve produced this handy starters guide so you can avoid the types of charges thrown Lawrence’s way.

Have you witnessed any health and safety misgivings on site? Let us know in the comments below!

Looking for employers’ liability cover?

As the UK’s biggest business insurance provider, we specialise in employers’ liability insurance. We’ll run you a quick, tailored quote right now online, and let you decide if we’re a good fit.

Start your quote