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Builder Imprisoned for 24 weeks

A builder, Mr Adams, has been sentenced to 24 weeks imprisonment for failing to report a serious accident.

Mr Adams had a worker, Mr Lewis, carry out an excavation on a site for a new house to be built.  The builder had no formal training in excavators and the wrong excavator was used.  The excavator tipped over while digging and it trapped Mr Lewis’s leg, resulting in an amputation. The builder had not reported the incident to the HSE within ten days as required under the regulations and had not investigated it.  The HSE was only able to start an investigation more than eight months later when Mr.Lewis complained. By this time crucial evidence relating to the cause of the incident was unobtainable and the work was almost completed.

The British Health and Safety Executive (HSE) also said there was no health and safety-related documentation and no employer’s insurance cover for Mr Lewis to claim against. Mr Adams had not obtained any health and safety-related training during his 50 years in the construction industry.

Mr Adams pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 3(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013. He was charged a 24-week custodial sentence and was ordered to pay costs of £2,033.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Andrew Verrall-Withers said: “This case re-enforces how important it is that incidents are reported so they can be investigated, and improvements made to prevent serious incidents in future.

The diagram below gives you a brief summary of what must be reported immediately within 10 days.  More information on accident reporting and investigation is covered in detail in the certified CITB Site Managers Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) course.

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