A developer who verbally and physically assaulted an HSE inspector, has been sent to prison for 30 months after he repeatedly breached prohibition notices which were put in place to ensure the safety of workers while redeveloping a former office block in Parkeston, Essex.
HSE visited the site on 28 February 2013 following complaints from local residents worried about debris falling from upper storeys and of the danger to workers being left without any protection from falling while working at height.
Eze Kinsley, the developer who was found to be in control of workers at the site, verbally abused the HSE inspector who visited. The inspector had to return with Essex police officers later to serve prohibition notices requiring an immediate stop to unsafe work at the site. Mr Kinsley reacted strongly to this, physically assaulting the inspector.
After further reports that work had not stopped, HSE issued a further prohibition notice on 3 April 2013, which was breached within just one hour of being served.
The HSE investigation found that there were no safety measures in place to prevent injury to workers from debris falling from height and that there was also a real risk of injury to members of the public using the road and pavement next to the Parkeston House site.
Eze Kinsley, of Edgware, Middlesex, was prosecuted by the HSE at Chelmsford Crown Court on 18 July for serious breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was given a 30 month prison sentence to be served concurrently with three 12-month prison sentences after being found guilty of three counts of contravening a Prohibition Notice contrary to section 33(1)(g) of the same Act. He was also ordered to pay costs of £5,000. He was also found guilty of assaulting an inspector from HSE at a separate court appearance.
After the case, HSE inspector Jonathan Elven, said: “Although no one was injured as a result of the woefully inadequate working practices this is nevertheless a serious case.
“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.
“Mr Kinsley refused to accept that he had a responsibility to make sure people who worked for him, and any member of the public living or working near his site, were not subjected to unnecessary risks — and vigorously and violently resisted all attempts to make him take actions to protect them.
“Putting safe working practices in place is often simple and inexpensive and, where this doesn’t happen, the costs, both financial and personal, can be immense.”
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