London firm gets £40k fine for unguarded opening

A London based construction company has been fined for safety failings.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how RS Construction UK (London) Limited was working at a site on St Dionis Road, London which was inspected by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The inspector found there was an excavation directly behind the front door, which was the only entrance and exit for the site.

The excavation was approximately 3.5 meters deep with no means of shoring to support the sides of the excavation and no edge protection around the top to stop persons, materials or objects falling into it.


Excavated entrance and exit to and from site

Of immediate concern was a worker in the bottom of the excavation who was instructed to exit the excavation.

An investigation by the HSE found that the RS Construction had received previous enforcement action on similar risks on other sites and still failed to ensure suitable and sufficient safe access and egress to and from the construction site and also failed to ensure all practicable steps were taken to prevent danger to any person from working in the excavation.

RS Construction UK (London) Limited, of International House, Regents Street, London, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 17(1)(a) and 22(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, and was fined £40,000. £20,000 for each offence and ordered to pay full costs of £1,486.

For further information on working in basements and excavation visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/cis66.pdf and http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/cis64.pdf PDF.

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