Construction boss banned for failing to pay health & safety fines

Published:  27 June, 2018

The boss of a Derbyshire construction company has been banned after failing to pay fines following multiple health and safety breaches.

Michael Allen, 64, of Ashbourne, was a director of Allen and Hunt Construction Engineers Ltd, a specialist company in manufacturing and erecting steel-framed agricultural and industrial buildings.

In July 2014, a worker carrying out repairs on a farm building fell through the roof and suffered life-changing injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident and found that Allen and Hunt Construction Engineers had breached several health and safety regulations.

The HSE found that the company had failed to carry out health and safety plans for the site in Buxton and did not properly train the employee to carry out fragile roof work. Equipment was inadequate and insufficient for the risks posed.

Allen subsequently pleaded guilty to breaching three counts of the working at heights regulations and was fined £274,671 in November 2016.

Allen and Hunt Construction Engineers went into liquidation a month later, and Allen told investigators that it closed down because it could not afford to pay the fine.

But further investigations by the Insolvency Service found that, after the accident and to allow for a clear division between fabrication and installation activities, a new company was incorporated in October 2014. It carried out fabrication work, while the installation side of the business was wound down.

And if the fabrication contracts had remained within the original Allen and Hunt Construction Engineers, there would have been sufficient funds to pay the fine.

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has since accepted a disqualification undertaking from Allen.

Effective from today, he is banned from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company for six years.

Dave Elliott, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: "Michael Allen had a lack of regard for the workers, which unfortunately resulted in a horrific injury for one person.

"Directors who fail to adhere to health and safety regulations to protect their employees and then fail to pay the fine can expect to face the consequences of a period of disqualification."

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