The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned construction firms to ensure appropriate edge protection is used around open excavations and prevent unauthorised access onto active sites following a court case regaridng a fatal basement fall on site.
SM Builder Expert has been fined more that £8,000 by Luton Magistrates’ Court after a chauffeur fell to his death into an unprotected basement excavation at a domestic property in London on 16 September 2017.
The court heard that Bala Singh Koranga, a visitor to the house and not associated with the works, entered the construction area and stepped onto a blue tarpaulin that was placed to prevent rainwater entering the basement.
Koranga fell into the void and sustained a fatal laceration to the neck.
An investigation by the HSE found the company had failed to put in place adequate construction site fencing and the site had no warning signs and used ineffective barriers around the concealed void.
SM Builder Expert pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and was fined £5,280 and ordered to pay costs of £3,204.
HSE inspector Rauf Ahmed added: “This tragic incident could easily have been prevented. Builders need to take adequate measures to prevent unauthorised access into construction sites and prevent persons falling into open basements.”