Construction company fined £600,000 after death of child

A civil engineering business has been fined £600,000 for safety failings after a 7-year-old child was trapped and suffocated at a construction site. The child had been missing on the morning of 26 July 2015 and was discovered the following day by workers at the site at Bank End Road, Worsborough, in South Yorkshire.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed the child became trapped in a drainage pipe, which was fitted into the ground in readiness for the installation of fencing posts. Sadly, he had suffocated before being discovered the following morning.

Howard Civil Engineering Ltd of Howard House Limewood Approach Leeds pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 13(4)(b) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £600,000 and ordered to pay £42,952.88 in costs at Sheffield Crown Court.

The construction site was a new-build housing development beside an existing housing estate and adjoined much used pedestrian footpaths and roads. HSE found that there was not enough fencing installed to stop unauthorised persons from entering the construction site as a result of a combination of poor planning, management and monitoring of the site and its perimeter.