Construction boss jailed following serious site accident

construction worker has an accident while working on new house. construction worker lies on the floor at the work site. work accident


A construction boss has been jailed for 24 weeks for failing to report a serious accident on a site which resulted in a worker’s leg being amputated.

Site worker, Simon Lewis, was using an excavator on a building site in New Malden when it tipped over, trapping his leg. Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told that Mr Lewis had received no formal training in operating the machine and had been pressurised into using the excavator.

Mr Adams had not undertaken any formal health and safety training despite working as a builder for 50 years.

Construction boss Paul Adams was jailed after failing to report the accident to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as required by the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).He was also ordered to pay costs of £2,033.

The court heard that Mr Adams failed to investigate the incident, which only came to light eight months later when Mr Lewis complained to the HSE. Mr Adams had not undertaken any formal health and safety training despite working as a builder for 50 years. There was no health and safety-related documentation at the site and Mr Adams had not taken out employers’ liability insurance.

HSE inspector Andrew Verrall-Withers said that Mr Adams had failed to report the incident even when prompted to by a solicitor. “Despite his construction experience he had failed to take any interest in understanding his legal duties nor invest in health and safety,” he said.

James Burgoyne, Divisional Director – Claims & Technical, Brunel Professions said: “Employers are responsible for the health and safety of their workforce and this case shows just how seriously the courts will take matters, when employers ignore these duties. Insurance can help with defending a prosecution, but that is where it stops; it usually cannot reimburse fines, and is academic in the context of serving a custodial sentence. Employers need to ensure that they are complying with their obligations to avoid being exposed to these risks in the first place.”

The HSE has published a press release about the case on its website. A report about the incident has also been published by DAC Beachcroft.

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