A property development firm was last week fined £79,000 over breaches of health and safety legislation at a building in Hull that collapsed three years ago killing three men
A director of the firm was personally liable for a further £20,000 the company, Marketing Exchange for Africa, admitted all the offences as did the director, Murli Thadani, when the case was heard at Sheffield Crown Court. They were ordered to pay costs of £95,000.

The Health and Safety Executive launched the prosecution after Tony Laughton, David Jowett and Shaughan Walsh were killed during the refurbishment of a mill building in April 2000. The three were underneath a wall when it collapsed.

  It later emerged that the HSE had issued a prohibition notice two months before the collapse.

Hugh Davies, the HSE's head of operations, who led the investigation, said that construction safety was a priority for the executive. He said that the dangers associated with refurbishing old buildings, particularly when demolition was involved, were well known.

Davies said: "This case should serve as a warning to others who may be tempted to cut corners and who fail to comply with a prohibition notice."

The company faced prosecution for seven offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act. Thadani faced prosecution on two counts.

This case should serve as a warning to those tempted to cut corners

Hugh Davies, HSE head of operations

  • The HSE is to publish a consultation document on proposed changes to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations next spring.

    It has endorsed 18 practical safety guides for designers, which can be seen at www.safetyindesign.org.

    Working with the Construction Industry Council, the Institution of Civil Engineers and CIRIA, the HSE plans to target the architectural sector to improve safety.