Client prosecuted for trench collapse fatality

When a construction worker was killed during the refurbishment of a residential block, the owners of the building were found guilty of breaches of the CDM Regulations 2007 and fined a total of £65,000.

In September 2010, a construction worker died when the side of a trench he was working in collapsed, burying him under several tonnes of earth. The cause of the accident was a lack of proper shoring in the trench at the site in Lewisham.

In the subsequent court case, the director of the contracting company that employed the worker was prosecuted for breaches to the CDM Regulations 2007 and ordered to undertake 270 hours of community service.

In addition, the two clients who owned the residential block under refurbishment were found guilty of two breaches of the CDM Regulations 2007 and fined £40,000 and £25,000 respectively and ordered to pay costs of £34,750 to the HSE.

The breaches of the CDM Regulations related to the clients not ensuring that the contractors they had appointed were competent and adequately resourced to undertake the work safely.

Under the CDM Regulations, clients have a legal responsibility to appoint competent advisers and principal contractors, and to ensure that arrangements are in place for carrying out the project safely.

At Aegis we have experienced and knowledgeable CDM co-ordinators who can advise clients how to carry out their duties under the Regulations and assist them in delivering a project safely, including carrying out competence checks on contractors.