Construction director fined over unsafe pub conversion

A construction company and its managing director have been fined after operating an unsafe construction site during a residential pub conversion in Bollington in Cheshire.

Manchester-based Bluefig Development Ltd and company director Faris Hashim Mousa, 52, of 260-268 Chapel Street, Salford, were prosecuted over poor site conditions where a former pub was being converted into two houses.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) stopped work on the building after an inspection found that workers’ lives were at immediate risk due to work at height issues, missing floorings with no protection and welfare facility issues relating to running water.

The inspection also revealed an extremely unsafe wall on the property that had not been sufficiently supported to prevent it from collapsing.

Speaking after the hearing, Deborah Walker, inspector at HSE, said: “This was an extremely dangerous site and it is only luck that nobody was injured or even killed.

“Anyone involved in construction, no matter what size of site or project has to take the health, safety and welfare of their workers seriously.

“If the unstable wall had collapsed, we could now be talking about the tragic death of a worker and its impact on their family, rather than how lucky they are no one was injured.”

Both the company and its director were found to have failed to notify HSE of the project, appoint a competent principal contractor or ensure they had suitable and sufficient measures to reduce risks to workers and members of the public.

Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court issued Bluefig Development Ltd with a £42,900 fine and £3,781.24 costs.

After pleading guilty to breaching two charges under Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Mr Mousa was fined £40,000 with £3,658.24 costs.

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