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HSE evacuated 3.5 m unshored pit

Construction company RS Construction UK (London) has been fined £40,000 after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was an excavation directly behind a front door – the site’s only entrance and exit.

Excavated entrance exit to and from the site | Image credit: HSE

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that on a visit an HSE inspector found an employee at the bottom of the 3.5 m-deep unshored excavation and instructed him to exit immediately. There was also no edge protection around the top of the excavation to prevent people or objects falling into it. 

HSE inspectors had previously taken action on similar risks at other sites and still failed to ensure suitable and sufficient safe access to the site. 

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 17(1)(a) and 22(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, which relate to safe access to construction sites and preventing excavation collapses respectively. RS Construction was fined £20,000 for each offence and ordered to pay full costs of £1,486.


Keeley Downey was the former assistant editor of IOSH Magazine. Previously she was editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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