Recently, Selliah Sivguru Sivaneswaran, of Pinner was fined £200,000 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to breaching Regulations 13(1) and 4(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (‘the Regulations’), following the demolition of flats at 60 Pitcairn Road, Mitcham.
The Circumstances | Kangs National Regulatory Solicitors
After a member of the public had raised concerns about the conditions at the site, it was visited by the Health and Safety Executive, (HSE), in October 2016, and work was halted as workers were found to be exposed to a number of risks such as, exposure to asbestos, working at height dangers and fire risk.
Enforcement Notices failed to encourage rectification of the unsatisfactory matters and, when the HSE returned to the site in January 2017, they found that it remained unsafe with workers having to climb onto an unguarded roof in order to manually throw debris down, exposing them to the risk of falling four metres.
Additionally, there were no welfare facilities.
The Sentencing Hearing | Kangs Regulatory Advisory Solicitors
At the Hearing, the court was told that:
- four days previously, the HSE had to return to the site and take further action.
- despite the project potentially producing a substantial profit, Mr Sivaneswaran, put profit before safety and paid untrained workers in cash.
- no site manager was engaged.
- there was no proper site documentation being maintained.
In addition to the substantial fine, costs of £1,421.20 were imposed.
Mr Andrew Varral-Withers, inspector for HSE stated:
‘Mr Sivaneswaran was a commercial client as he was carrying out work as part of a business.
When he failed to appoint a principal contractor, their duties fell on him.
It was just good fortune that no one had been killed at the site.
Instead of taking the support and advice provided by HSE, Mr Sivaneswaran continued to let the workers operate in appalling conditions where they were at risk of being killed.
He did not even provide them with a WC or washing facilities.’
Enforcement of the Law | Kangs Regulatory Crime Defence Team
It is clear that Health and Safety is a vital part of any business and courts will not and do not hesitate in sentencing corporate bodies/management and individuals when there are clear breaches of the Regulations.
Health and Safety covers a vast number of areas and affects business from sole traders all the way up to multi-national companies. This is a very complex area of law and often what you may perceive to be a minor breach may result in high financial penalties and in some cases imprisonment.
It is therefore important that if you or your company are being investigated for Health and Safety breaches that you seek expert legal advice as soon as possible.
How Can We Help? | Kangs Health & Safety Solicitors
Kangs Solicitors Regulatory Team has a wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with all matters of Health and Safety law.
Our specialist lawyers are able to provide advice and assistance throughout the entire criminal process, from the initial intervention by the HSE through to enforcement, interview under caution and, ultimately, criminal prosecution.
Who Can I Contact For Help? | Kangs Solicitors
Please feel free to contact our team through any of the following who will be happy to provide you with some initial advice and assistance.