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Health, Safety, Ethical & Environmental round up

13 August 2010

A Brighton-based construction company and two of its directors were fined a total of £75,000 with £16,465 costs by Lewes Crown Court last month (June) in relation to offences of failing to secure one of their building sites in Brighton where a member of the public died after a fall.

The court heard that in the early hours of Sunday, 29 June 2008, Edward Dean, a 24-year-old Brighton man, wandered on to the site where a house was being converted into flats. He fell 2.4m into a cellar courtyard, where he was discovered dead later that morning.

PIB (UK) Ltd were fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,500. Directors John Blankson and Steven Moore admitted offences relating to the incident. John Blankson, who was also the client for the project, was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,465 while Steven Moore was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,500. He was disqualified from being a director for five years.

Too many people use health & safety as an excuse to hide behind, Judith Hackitt, Chair of the Health & Safety Executive, has warned.

She made the comments in a letter to Lord Young, who has been appointed to lead a Whitehall-wide review of health & safety law and practice. He will also examine compensation culture and report to the Prime Minister in the summer.

HSE has been publishing a ‘myth of the month’ on its website since 2007, hitting back at some of the ridiculous decisions that are wrongly blamed on health & safety regulations.

There were 41 fatal injuries in construction in the year April 2009-March 2010, according to provisional figures released by the HSE in June. That is a rate of two deaths per 100,000 workers and, although that is less than the 3.2 average for the previous five years, it leaves construction as one of the most dangerous industries to work in. Fatalities across all industries were 151 – a rate of 0.5 per 100,000 people. Four members of the public were also killed in accidents connected with construction.

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