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Fri October 30 2020

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Builder fined after unsafe work on hospital

23 Dec 10 A building contractor was fined along with the director of a surgical centre after safety inspectors found multiple failings on the site of a new clinic extension.

Deathwish in a telehandler bucket
Deathwish in a telehandler bucket

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspection revealed that no project planning or safety measures were in place on the site of the new two-storey extension at the McIndoe Surgical Centre in East Grinstead.

Crawley Magistrates' Court heard contractor Dean Hutt was undertaking building work at the site from November 2008 to December 2009. However, a complaint about safety at the site prompted HSE inspectors to visit the project on 23 December 2009.

Immediately two Prohibition Notices were issued ordered work to stop immediately after the inspector found chainsaws being used without any personal protective equipment and scaffolding being in an unfit state for use.

HSE's investigation revealed that Hutt had failed to plan, manage and monitor the construction of the extension, including the failure to properly supervise any working at height.

The director of the surgical centre, Peter Arnstein, was also prosecuted for failing to ensure Mr Hutt had properly planned the construction project.

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Photographs before the HSE inspection show a man in the bucket of a telescopic handler, working approximately 20ft up and using a chainsaw without safety protection or a harness to prevent him falling.

Dean Hutt, 45, of East Court Villas, Hanson Road, East Grinstead, pleaded guilty to Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction design and Management Regulations (CDM) 2007. He was fined £1,500 ordered to pay costs of £3,056.

Peter Arnstein, 56, from Furnace Farm Road, Furnace Wood, Felbridge, also admitted to breaching Regulation 16 of CDM 2007. He was fined £1,500 ordered to pay costs of £2,181.

Following the hearing, HSE Inspector Russell Beckett said: "Working at height is still the major cause of workplace fatalities. It is important that principal contractors plan work that they are intending to carry out. This prosecution stems from a total lack of planning by anyone involved in the project. The appointment of a principal contractor who did not have the competence or training to run a large project should not have happened and it is a miracle that no one was injured at the site.”

Mr Arnstien's employer, McIndoe Surgical Centre Ltd, of Holtye Road, East Grinstead also pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 16 of CDM 2007. The company was fined £2,000 ordered to pay costs of £2,796.

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