Construction News

Tue October 20 2020

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Lack of soap and water lands builder in court

13 Dec 10 A Lancashire builder who ignored improvement notices and made his employees work in unsanitary conditions, with no toilet or washing facilities, has been fined £400 plus £1,000 costs.

Michael Connolly, 46, was prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) after he repeatedly ignored calls to improve conditions at the site in Littleborough where he had employed contractors to convert a house into flats and shops.

HSE inspectors who visited the site in Church Street found that there were no toilets or washing facilities. They also discovered live wires sticking out of plug sockets, unsafe scaffolding and plaster and rubble scattered all over the site.

Connolly was immediately served with three improvement notices and two prohibition notices following the visit on 4 November 2009.

Despite Connolly’s assurances that he had complied with all the notices, when inspectors revisited the site on several occasions over a 10-week period, they discovered he had still not provided adequate washing facilities for workers, including soap and hot running water.

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HSE Inspector Alan Pojur said: “In failing to provide basic amenities like hot water, especially when workers would have been covered in building site dust and plaster, Mr Connolly showed a complete lack of regard for the welfare of the people he employed.

"Mr Connolly was given every opportunity to correct this problem over three months, but he chose not to do so. I hope his subsequent prosecution sends out a strong message to other employers."

Michael Connolly, of Simonstone Lane in Burnley, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with Regulation 22(1)(c) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007 by not providing suitable and sufficient washing facilities, and Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to comply with an improvement notice.

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