Property Developer Ordered to Stop Work Three Times

Prestige Homes Construction Limited, a property developer based in Manchester, has ended up in court after the Health and Safety Executive issued the firm with three Prohibition Notices to stop work on a mansion in Greater Manchester.

On the 7th May 2008, the Health and Safety Executive issued the company with a Prohibition Notice to stop work at the site, which was deemed to be unsafe. The company proceeded to erect scaffolding as instructed but, during an inspection on the 28th July 2009, safety officials noticed further problems involving site access and rubble, prompting them to issue a second notice due to risks of an accident at work.

During a follow-up inspection on the 13th August 2009, officials found scaffolding to be dangerously unsafe, with gaps in the platforms and missing toe boards and guardrails. At this point, the injury lawyers Health and Safety Executive sought to prosecute the firm in addition to serving a third Prohibition Notice to cease work.

At Manchester Crown Court last week, Prestige Homes Construction Limited was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £4,792 in costs. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, which states: “Where work is carried out at height, every employer shall take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.”

The firm was also charged with breaching Regulation 27(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, which provides that: “Every part of a construction site shall, so far as is reasonably practicable, be kept in good order and every part of a construction site which is used as a place of work shall be kept in a reasonable state of cleanliness.”

When employers fail to take seriously their health and safety obligations, accidents can very easily result in death or serious injury – especially on construction sites. Personal injury claims can be brought against employers whose negligence gives rise to accidents in the workplace that cause injury.

Speaking after the court hearing, Health and Safety Executive inspector, Ian Betley, said: “The lives of several construction workers were put at risk because Prestige Homes failed to make sure the site remained safe. We gave the company two chances to improve standards but, in the end, we had no choice but to prosecute.

“Falls from height remain the biggest cause of workplace deaths and one of the main causes of injury. We found missing guardrails on two separate occasions that meant it would have been dangerous to work on the site.”