Developer Eze Kinsley, has been sent to prison for 30 months after repeatedly breaching prohibition notices which were put in place to ensure the safety of workers while redeveloping a former office block in Parkeston, Essex.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) visited the site in February last year following complaints from local residents worried about debris falling from upper storeys, and of the danger to workers being left without protection from falling while working at height.
Mr Kinsley, of Edgware, Middlesex, was physically violent to the HSE inspector who had brought prohibition notices requiring an immediate stop to unsafe work at the site.
After breaching another prohibition notice, Mr Kinsley was prosecuted on 18 July, 2014 for serious breaches of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Commenting on 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.”