Builders Scrap Ladders and use Digger Bucket ​to Secure Giant Stone 20ft off the Ground

A building firm has been fined £120,000 after two workers were seen fitting a stone on a new house from the airborne bucket of a digger.

The two builders weren’t wearing a helmet or any other obvious safety gear as they use brute force to shove the heavy stone, featuring the address of the property, into place, at least 20ft from the ground.

The reckless act was just one of a series of health and safety breaches which has landed the developer behind a new luxury estate with a hefty fine.

They were working on a housing development in Littleborough, Greater Manchester, in 2021.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said Rochdale firm Hoyle Developments Limited pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety laws.

Inspectors had found “repeated breaches” on several visits, it added.

The site, where The Villas housing development was being built on Starring Road, had inadequate scaffolding, unsecure fencing and a lack of welfare facilities, it said.

Inspectors made four visits and issued several notices over the health and safety contraventions.

“Repeated breaches were found including a lack of sufficient welfare, unsuitable controls for work at height and inadequate protection from silica dust exposure,” inspectors said.

The company has also been ordered to pay £3,165 in costs.

HSE Inspector Mike Lisle said: “Health and safety should be an integral part of any business, not an afterthought, and having a clear health and safety policy and construction phase plan in place, before work commences, can assist with ensuring this.”

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Steve Kilburn
Steve Kilburn
I initially trained as an industrial chemist working in a variety of manufacturing environments eventually moving into quality management which grew to encompass environmental and occupational health and safety management systems. I hold a Masters Degree in Health and Safety law and Environmental Law and a Post Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Waste Management and I am a Graduate Level Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). In my spare time I enjoy reading, my favourite author is Stephen King, and listening to music, generally from the late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
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