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Director’s ban for construction boss who dodged health & safety fines

28 Jun 18 The boss of a Derbyshire construction company has been banned after failing to pay fines that followed multiple health and safety breaches.

Michael Allen, 64 of Ashbourne, Derbyshire, was a director of Allen & Hunt Construction Engineers Limited, which manufactured and erected steel-framed agricultural and industrial buildings.

In July 2014, a worker was carrying out repairs on a farm building in Buxton when they fell through the roof and suffered life-changing injuries.

An investigation was carried out by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and they found that Allen & Hunt Construction Engineers Limited had breached several health and safety regulations.

Among several breaches, the HSE found there had been a lack of training and lack of adequate equipment. The company pleaded guilty to breaching three counts of the working at heights regulations and was fined £274,671 including costs in November 2016.

Unable to pay the fine, Michael Allen closed the business down. However, further investigations by the Insolvency Service found that after the accident and to allow for a clear division between fabrication and installation activities, a new company was incorporated in October 2014. The new company carried out fabrication services, while the installation side of the business was wound down.

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Had the fabrication contracts had remained within Allen & Hunt Construction Engineers Limited, the original company, there would have been sufficient funds to pay the fine.

The secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy has since accepted a disqualification undertaking from Michael Allen.

Effective from 27th June 2018, he is now banned from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company for six years.

Dave Elliott, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “Michael Allen had a lack of regard for the workers, which unfortunately resulted in a horrific injury for one person.

“Directors who fail to adhere to health and safety regulations to protect their employees and then fail to pay the fine can expect to face the consequences of a period of disqualification.”

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