Fatal accident due to lack of fencing
Protecting the public is as important as protecting your workforce. So fencing off a building site completely could be the most vital thing a site manager ever does. The public-at-large should never be able to stumble upon an in-progress construction project.
One day in early January 2015, John Philbin, who was 83 and suffering symptoms of dementia, was able to do just that. He walked on to a deserted housing development in Kirkcaldy through one of several gaps in the boundary. After falling into a flooded trench, he tragically drowned.
Preventing this death would have been straightforward, the Health and Safety Executive Investigator Gillian Anderson pointed out, if “the company installed a continuous fence around the site.” Press reports noted that one hole in the hedgerow boundary was close to a children’s playground.
By cutting corners in this matter, Glasgow construction company Sandford Park Ltd put the public at risk. In this case, there have been the most dire consequences for Philbin and his family.
The company was handed a fine of £110,000 at Kirkcaldy Sherriff Court on May 26th.
McCormack Benson Health and Safety have extensive experience working with construction companies to bring about improvements in on-site practice. With assistance from specialist consultants, staff can fully understand their health and safety responsibilities both to the workforce and the public.