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Contractor fined 600k after child’s death on site

The site in Worsborough

The website in Worsborough

Seven-year-old Conley Thompson went missing from your home on the morning of 26th July 2015 and was found another morning by workers on a construction site on Bank End Road, Worsborough, in South Yorkshire.

A study by medical & Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that the kid had become trapped in a nine-inch drainage pipe that were fixed in to the ground in preparation for installing fencing posts. He previously suffocated before being found another morning when work restarted on site.

Leeds-based Howard Civil Engineering pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 13(4)(b) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 also to breaching Section 3 (1) of medical & Safety at the job etc Act 1974. The business was fined 600,000 and ordered to cover nearly 43,000 in costs at Sheffield Crown Court today.

The construction site was a new-build housing development close to a preexisting housing estate and busy footpaths and roads. HSE discovered that Howard had had insufficient fencing set up to avoid unauthorised usage of the construction site because of mix of poor planning, poor management and poor tabs on the site and its own perimeter.

HSE inspector Paul Yeadon said following the hearing: Conley shouldn’t have been in a position to be on that site. He must have been kept out. The construction industry should become aware of the dangers of construction sites to members of the general public and any unauthorised persons.

The dangers to children gaining usage of construction sites and treating them such as a playground can be an ongoing problem which should be addressed at all sorts of sites regardless of what their complexity or size.

The should do all it could to make sure children cant access construction sites and become subjected to the inherent risks they show prevent further tragedies such as this from occurring.

Michael Howard, founder and managing director of Howard Civil Engineering, said: Conleys death was a tragic accident, and our thoughts and condolences remain along with his family, who’ve suffered an unimaginable loss. Hopefully that the final outcome of the process can at the very least go a way in providing everyone suffering from this tragedy with some resolution.

In its evidence, medical & Safety Executive highlighted the nice safety record of Howard Civil Engineering and the truth that the business is not at the mercy of any previous convictions. However, we fully recognise that in this situation the perimeter fencing around our site had become damaged and inadequate as time passes.

We’ve engaged fully with medical & Safety Executive throughout its inquiry and in the seven years since this incident occurred have set up several measures to guarantee the perimeter integrity of most of our sites. We shall continue to make sure that safe practices reaches the center of how exactly we operate.

Got a tale? Email news@theconstructionindex.co.uk

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