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hseA Southwark-based construction business has been ordered to pay almost £130,000 in costs and fines after it pleaded guilty to serious health and safety breaches on a work site led to life-threatening injuries to one of its workers.

Habitat Construction LLP, a firm that specialises in construction work, was heavily fined and ordered to pay the prosecution’s costs by the Southwark Crown Court after a 38-year-old worker suffered damage to his spinal cord in the accident in July 2011.

The worker – who does not wish to be named for personal reasons – was part of a team of employees working on transforming two former Victorian hostels into four single residences. During the course of the work the windows had to be removed from the buildings and, as the Health and Safety Executive (“HSE”) later found, this work was carried out in a haphazard and uncontrolled manner, with no controls or guards being put in place to prevent people from falling through the open apertures. This meant – in some cases – that these openings were unguarded for a period of four to six weeks.

On 1 July 2011, the worker was attempting to connect a power supply when he stumbled backwards and fell through one of areas where a window was missing. This led to the worker falling approximately 25 feet to a concrete floor below, suffering severe damage to his spinal cord. This means that the worker is no longer able to walk and has  had to adjust to life in a wheelchair, as well as experiencing significant emotional trauma.

The Health and Safety Executive was notified of the accident and sought to investigate. The HSE’s investigation found that there had been several breaches of health and safety by Habitat Construction LLP, including a clear failure to guard the missing windows to prevent injury to employees or sub-contractors. The HSE therefore recommended that the partnership be prosecuted for failure to comply with UK health and safety laws.

The case came to the Southwark Crown Court on 22 May 2014, with Habitat Construction LLP charged with a single breach of s.2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The business pleaded guilty to this charge and was fined £110,000, as well as being ordered to pay the prosecution’s costs of £16,620.

Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the court case: “Businesses have obligations under health and safety legislation to take reasonable steps to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of its employees at work. The HSE and the Southwark Crown Court clearly felt in this instance that the business had not taken these reasonable steps.”

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

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Testimonials

4.63 Average

30 Reviews

Anonymous

Immediate response to my initial enquiry. Very clear throughout the whole process and thorough and great communication which worked really well during quite a stressful time. Chris Hadrill was extremely helpful and made me feel at ease.

Posted 5 days ago

Nick D

I received a very professional service from Chris. The advice given really helped to leave me comfortable to sign the settlement agreement following my redundancy. Would be happy to recommend your services to others.

Posted 5 days ago

Anonymous

Excellent service from initial contact to deliverables.

Posted 1 month ago

Virginia K

Yes, Chris Hadrill answered all my questions and I feel more confident with my current situation

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Chris Hadrill was referred to me my a friend of mine. I found the service to be efficient, quick and like Chris's direct approach to my work. Well done and thank you Chris!

Posted 1 month ago

Andy W

Very prompt & structured service that helped put my mind at rest at a difficult time

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

I have found Redmans to be very helpful, diligant and thoroughly professional when dealing with them, plus they gone that extra mile for me !

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Thank you to Chris Hadrill at Redmans for his assistance in settling my case. I contacted him at the very last minute and he was happy to help me and managed to get everything done on time and in a very professional manner. I will definitely be happy to work with him again .

Posted 2 months ago

Redman's provided excellent legal employment advice for me during a difficult time in my employment. Chris was my lawyer, super efficient, quick, reliable and clearly very experienced in the matter. Could not ask for a better law firm to deal with your query if you are in need of some help. Would definitely use them again in the future. Highly recommending Chris.

Posted 5 months ago

Steven

Chris Hadrill was very professional and responsive. I would highly recommend him

Posted 5 months ago

Dinah

Very Efficient, with very quick email reply’s. I had a matter that needed resolving within a very short space of time and Redmans Solicitors were great with dealing with my matter quickly.

Posted 5 months ago

Ankar

At Redmans the solicitor that was dealing with me was Chris. He dealt with my situation smoothly with clear guidance and explanation

Posted 5 months ago

Anonymous

Clear, concise advice and guidance delivered by an experienced and very capable solicitor, within the timelines required

Posted 6 months ago

Anonymous

Very efficient service. I never had to wIt for more than a day for a reply to any of my queries and the matter was dealt with swiftly.

Posted 6 months ago

Anonymous

Very timely, thorough and helpful advice. Friendly and considerate of the needs of the client

Posted 6 months ago

Anonymous

Very prompt and attention to detail. Thank you for the service

Posted 6 months ago

Chris

Couldn’t be happier with how Redmans successfully handled our seemingly tricky case. By being clear and detailed every step of the way, with the utmost professionalism and courtesy, they made it an informative and eye-opening process, taking the stress out of the situation and ultimately delivered what you would want from such a service. I fully appreciate everything they have done, and if I am ever in need of such services in the future, they will be the first number I contact. Excellent.

Posted 6 months ago

Anonymous

Excellent work delivered with great quality

Posted 6 months ago

Dominic

Chris Hadrill was a great help both in terms of his advice and his expertise. He explained my options to me clearly and concisely enabling me to quickly make the right decision for me in the circumstance. I would not hesitate to recommend Chris or Redmans to friends or colleagues, and would certainly make Redmans my first port of call should I require a similar service in the future.

Posted 6 months ago

Kurt

Redmans gave excellent advice and helped me understand everything in clear concepts. Thank you!

Posted 6 months ago

Anonymous

Resolved my issues

Posted 6 months ago