Developer Jailed Over Repeat Safety Failings

Dangerous Work Practices Lead To Prosecution


A developer has been sent to prison following a series of repeated breaches of health and safety law that left both construction workers and the public at risk of serious harm.

Eze Kinsley, who was in charge of the redevelopment of a former office block in Parkeston, Essex, was first visited by an inspector from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in February 2013, following complaints from members of the public that debris was falling from upper floors of the building and staff were working at height without any protection to prevent them falling.

His response to the initial visit was to verbally abuse the inspector, who returned with police officers and issued immediate prohibition notices to stop work at the site. Mr Kinsley reacted by assaulting the inspector.

The HSE was subsequently informed that the notice was being ignored and it issued a second prohibition notice on April 3rd 2013, but this was contravened within an hour of being served.

As a result, the HSE took further action and prosecuted Mr Kinsley for serious breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard that no measures had been put in place to prevent workers or passing members of the public from being injured by debris falling from height.

Mr Kinsley was found guilty of two breaches of section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, for which he received a 30-month prison sentence. He was also found guilty of three counts of contravening a prohibition notice contrary to section 33(1)(g) of the same Act, for which he was ordered to serve three 12-month jail sentences, with the prison terms to be served concurrently.

In addition to this, Mr Kinsley was ordered to pay £5,000 in costs.

Commenting on the case, HSE inspector Jonathan Elven said: "The working conditions on this site were truly appalling with absolutely no provision for workers' safety.

"In addition, the repeated breaching of prohibition notices - without any attempts to put right the reasons why work had been stopped - put workers and the general public at serious risk."

Expert Opinion
Health and safety of workers and the general public should always be a top priority for employers but this case, like so many we are instructed in relation to, highlights the dangers which can emerge when this is not the case.

"While it is fortunate no one was injured in this incident, it is vital that employers ensure that the circumstances are simply never repeated again in the future. Lessons must be learned to ensure that the highest possible standards of safety in the workplace are always enforced."
Stephen Nye, Partner