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21st August 2017

Health & Safety – Construction site death

In January 2015 John Philbin, 83, died on the construction site of the Chapel Level residential development after falling into a flooded excavation. The construction site was closed for the holidays at the time.

Mr Philbin had been reported as missing and a police search ensued, he was found the following day by a ground worker on the site having drowned in the flooded excavation following the fall.

Sandford Park Ltd, a construction company based in Glasgow, were fined £110,000 following a guilty plea at Kirkcaldy Sherriff Court earlier this year. They pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22(1) (I) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

An investigation carried out by the HSE found that there was inadequate fencing surrounding the site, and the court heard that there had previously been issues with people accessing the site unauthorised. It was concluded that Mr Philbin would have entered the site through an opening in a hedge between the construction site and a park.

Gillian Anderson, HSE Inspector, said “this tragic incident could have been prevented, had the company installed a continuous fence around the site.”

One of the main aims of the CDM Regulations is to protect the public, and a properly organised and secure site should not pose a risk. Every year we hear stories where vulnerable people have died after entering a construction site that they shouldn’t have been able to get in to.

  • Is your workplace safe?
  • Are you work practices current and appropriate?
  • Do your staff comply with current procedures and working practices?

If you don’t know the answer to those questions, then a health & safety audit is your next step. Get in touch to find out how we can help.

21st August 2017