Health & Safety Executive inspectors made a number of visits during 2015 to two project sites where In House Design & Build Ltd was the principal contractor. Visits were prompted by concerns raised by both workers and members of the public.
In House Design & Build Ltd is the in-house construction arm of Soho House, which runs private members clubs for creative types. It was set up by Nick Jones, husband of Desert Island Discs presenter Kirsty Young.
Reading magistrates heard how inspectors identified a number of serious health and safety failings at the two sites. Over a four-month period at the first site, and despite several enforcement notices being served, In House Design & Build still failed to address the risks adequately. The notices served were for breaches including unsafe work at height, working in unstable deep excavations and inadequate arrangements for planning, managing and monitoring construction work. Further similar concerns were found later in the year at the second site where poor welfare arrangements were also noted.
In House Design and Build Ltd, of Royalty House, Dean Street, London, pleaded guilty to two breaches under Regulation 13 (1) of the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015. The company was fined £100,000.
Project manager Neil Crow of Woodgrange Avenue, London, who had been in charge of operations at both sites, pleaded guilty to two breaches under Regulation 13 (1) of the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015, by virtue of Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He was fined £15,000.
Full costs of £15,000 were also awarded.
HSE inspector Dominic Goacher said after the hearing: “Principal contractors and their managers have a duty to ensure risks to workers are managed throughout the construction phase of projects. This case serves as a reminder to those responsible of the importance of ensuring construction work is properly planned, managed and monitored so that serious risks are identified and eliminated or controlled. It was only by good fortune that someone was not seriously injured or killed in this instance.”