Blackburn Firm Pays £116,666 for Construction Safety Failings

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Blackburn Firm Pays £116,666 for Construction Safety Failings
LLB (Hons) & LPC Stacy Pimlott
Legally reviewed by: LLB (Hons) & LPC Stacy Pimlott In: Industrial Disease

A Blackburn building firm has recently been fined £116,666 after a history of construction safety failings was brought to light.

HSE Investigations on the Construction Safety Failings

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) uncovered that Mullberry Homes Limited has failed to, manage, and monitor health and safety work on their construction sites across England.

Mullberry Homes Limited was given a series of Notification of Contravention (NoC) letters, which are official correspondence outlining how firms can improve and provide as well as providing advice on how to do so. In addition, Mullberry Homes Limited also received a significant number of formal Improvement and Prohibition Notices due to unsafe work, yet the firm repeatedly failed to ensure the work being done on their sites was carried out safely and without risks to the health of their employees. These sites included:

  • Aintree
  • Liverpool
  • Middleton
  • Rochdale
  • Thorncliffe Road
  • Barrow-in-Furness

In all these locations, Mulberry Homes Limited failed to reach the required basic legal standards.

A Failure from the Managing Director

The HSE investigation also uncovered that Alistair Wilcock, managing director at Mullbery Homes Limited, should have ensured measures were taken to comply with each of HSE’s issues. In addition, Mr. Wilcock should have assured HSE’s measures were maintained.

Mulberry Homes Limited was Fined £116,666

Mullberry Homes Limited, Blackburn pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 13 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. As a result, the company was fined £116,666 and ordered to pay costs of £8294.40 at Manchester Crown Court on 31 October 2022.

In addition, Managing Director, Alistair Wilcock was served with a formal caution after accepting he was guilty of breaching section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974, in relation to the company’s failure of regulation 13 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 based on neglect. It is accepted by HSE that responsibility for compliance with the relevant legislation was not limited to Mr. Wilcock.

A Statement from HSE on the Construction Safety Failings

HSE inspector Matt Greenly states: “Companies have a duty of care to those they employ and HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards. Mullberry Homes and their director, Mr. Wilcock had every opportunity to improve standards and maintain these improvements, but they sadly failed to do so and continued to put workers and contractors at risk”

He continues, “Mullberry Homes Limited, and its previous company name of Paddle Limited, has a long history of formal enforcement and prosecutions from HSE and it is hoped that this case will serve as a wake-up call for them to ensure that their management is robust enough to maintain any and all health and safety improvements they make in the future.”

Health and Safety in Construction

Every year a high number of construction site workers are killed or injured because of construction safety failings. Other workers suffer ill health, such as musculoskeletal disorders, dermatitis, or asbestosis. However, these hazards are not just restricted to those working on sites. Children and other members of the public are also killed or injured because construction activities have not been adequately controlled.

The HSE has a free-to-download, PDF guide for those managing and employed by the construction industry. This guide aims to provide assistance on how to work safely on most tasks a construction worker will encounter. Additionally, it helps identify the main causes of accidents and ill health and explains how to eliminate hazards and control risks.

Your Employer’s Duty of Care – Construction Health and Saftey

An employer has a duty of care to all employees, protecting them from any harm in the workplace. In any workplace, the duty of care includes the following to eliminate risk of harm to employees:

  • Ensuring that employees and any others are reasonably protected from anything that may cause harm. As a result, effectively controlling any risks to injury or health that could arise in the workplace.
  • Carrying out risk assessments to minimize risk to health and safety as much as possible
  • Giving employees information about the risks in the workplace and how they are protected
  • Giving employees full training, including in manual handling if that applies to their role.
  • Consulting employees about health and safety issues. This may be through a safety representative who has been elected by the workforce. Alternatively, this could be by a representative appointed by a trade union.

Read more about an employer’s duty of care.

Making an Industrial Disease Claim

If your employer is not carrying out any of the above health and safety rules, or if you have been injured as a result of a lack of protection in the workplace, our industrial disease solicitors can help you make a claim.

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For further advice and support, get in contact with our team of solicitors today.

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