Site boss fined for locking out safety inspectors

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In 2021, multiple concerns about unsafe work at a construction site in Irvine were reported to the HSE and on March 16 two inspectors visited the site and observed unsafe work at height on a steel structure.

Inspectors attempted to enter the site, but the doors were locked. They spoke to the person controlling the site, Baldev Singh Basra, but he refused to unlock the doors and let them in.

Despite explaining the powers to enter premises given to HSE inspectors, Singh Basra still refused entry to the site.

Once officers from Police Scotland attended and entered the site, HSE inspectors were able to take enforcement action to stop the unsafe work.

Two workers were then on the roof of the structure with no safe way of descending. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service attended the site and rescued workers from the structure.

At Kilmarnock Sheriff’s Court, Singh Basra of Irvine pleaded guilty to a security breach and was fined £1,500.

Following the sentencing, HSE Principal Inspector Graeme McMinn said: ‘Inspectors appointed by an enforcement authority have the right to enter any premises they deem necessary to enforce occupational health and safety and all relevant legal provisions.

“They can only enter at a ‘reasonable time’, unless they think there is a situation that may be dangerous. In this case, the priority of the inspectors was to deal with the activity unsafe work, and they could not allow the person controlling the site to refuse them entry to stop the unsafe work.

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