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17th August 2022

Civil Engineers Fined £600,000 Following Death Of Young Boy

Digger on site

Leeds company Howard Civil Engineering have been fined £600,000 and ordered to pay £43,000 costs after admitting to breaches of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.

On 26 July 2015, a young boy went missing from home and was tragically found dead the next day by construction workers on a site in Worsborough, South Yorkshire.

He had become trapped and suffocated in an open pipe which had been fixed in the ground in preparation for fencing post installation.

Upon investigation, HSE inspectors found there to be inadequate fencing securing the site from trespassers brought about by a combination of poor planning, management and monitoring of the site and its boarders.

The development was a scheme of new build houses, adjacent to a number of pedestrian walkways and roads.

At the time of the incident, the HSE found there to be a range of risks on site including open foundations, deep drops, pipes and various types of construction machinery.

HSE Inspector Paul Yeadon said:

“The construction industry should be aware of the dangers of construction sites to members of the public and any other unauthorised persons.

“The dangers to children gaining access to construction sites and treating them like a playground is an ongoing problem which must be addressed at all types of sites no matter what their complexity or size.

“The industry must do all it can to ensure children can’t access construction sites and be exposed to the inherent risks they present to prevent further tragedies like this from occurring.”

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