Contractor hit with £600k fine over fire risks at Essex site

In January 2018 the HSE undertook a proactive inspection to investigate health and safety failings by S&S Quality Building Contractors Limited in Brentwood, Essex after a concern was raised that people were sleeping on site.

The investigation, which was assisted by Essex Fire & Rescue Service, identified failings in fire management at the site which created risks to workers and members of the public who were visiting show flats outside of business hours.

The environment at the Regent House site was poorly managed and the construction work was being carried out in an unsafe manner which could have resulted in a fire.

S&S Quality Building Contractors had previously been subject to HSE interventions after risks of a fire had been identified across a number of sites over several years.

Evidence gathered during the proactive HSE investigation indicated that the company director Shlomo Pines regularly attended the Regent House site and failed to implement improvements from previous HSE interventions.

S&S Quality Building Contractors Limited of London, pleaded guilty to safety breaches and  was fined £600,000 and ordered to pay costs of £36,894 at Basildon Crown Court this week.

Company director Pines, of Golders Green, London also pleaded guilty and received a community order to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and was fined £4,200.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Prentiss Clarke-Jones said: “S&S Quality Building Contractors Limited completely ignored the importance of fire safety measures on a construction site led by a director who wilfully chose to ignore the risks despite evidence he knew how to make things safe. This unsurprisingly resulted in a site where risks were also ignored by his workers.

“Follow the guidance, get competent advice and take responsibility that the law requires at the very least, or someone may get hurt, which thankfully did not eventuate here.”

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