Strood firm fined over dangerous excavation work
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
The court heard that Basi
Construction had been contracted to connect a new-build home to an
Concerns were initially raised by
Southern Water and Medway Council that the hole was
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.
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