£100,000 fine and suspended sentence after worker dies on building site

A property development company has been fined £100,000 and building firm director handed a suspended prison sentence after a labourer was killed while demolishing a wall.

Self-employed labourer Jakub Fischer was hired as a sub-contractor by North West Facilities to work on a house refurbishment project for Thorndyke Developments in June 2019.

But he was crushed while demolishing a wall dividing the property on Mansell Road, Liverpool from the neighbouring house, and was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency services.

Thorndyke Developments and David Peter Hartley, a director at North West Facilities, pleaded guilty at Wirral Magistrates’ Court of breaching construction regulations.

Thorndyke Developments was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay £8,400 in costs, while Hartley was given 26 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £5,800 in costs.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found a number of failings, including a lack of a risk assessment, appropriate training, and supervision.

HSE inspector Christine McGlynn said: “HSE will not hesitate to consider the roles of not only organisations when investigating serious incidents, but also those individuals such as directors and managers who are the controlling minds and best placed to direct work and ensure that it is carried out without risks to health and safety.”