Published: 15:29, 20 February 2013 |
Updated: 16:09, 09 January 2014
A Strood building company has been fined £8,000 after a court heard that unsafe excavation work on one of its sites could have killed someone.
Basi Construction, based on Medway City Estate, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive for failing to properly plan the excavation and endangering workers by leaving unsupported side walls that were liable to collapse.
After the hearing, HSE inspector, Melvyn Stancliffe described it as “pure good luck” that the nine-foot deep hole did not cave in.
He said: “Had it done so anyone working at the bottom would have more than likely been killed before they could be rescued.
“Sidewalls may look solid, but an unsupported wall will always collapse, and you need to work on the basis that it could give way in the next few seconds, not tomorrow or next week.”
The firm, which was founded in Medway in 2000 and has offices in Sir Thomas Longley Road, was also ordered to pay £8,797 costs.
Medway magistrates were told on yesterday that although there was no fall in and no injuries had been incurred, workers could have been killed had the soft clay side walls given away at the development on Britannia Road, High Halstow.
The court heard that Basi Construction had been contracted to connect a new-build home to an existing sewer.
Concerns were initially raised by Southern Water and Medway Council that the hole was unsupported.
An employee from the highways department of Medway Council visited in response to complaints about work on the footpath outside the site. He alerted the HSE after seeing somebody climbing from the hole leaving his tools and equipment at the bottom.
When the HSE inspector arrived it had been filled but the witness evidence proved damning enough to take legal action.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.