The owner of a local fisheries site has been fined for failing to secure the boundary of a new build local fisheries site whilst under construction.
Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how Michael Simpson, who directed operations at the site known as Cheshire Oaks Fisheries, had received a £72,000 grant towards the development of a fisheries site in Backford, Cheshire. The Rural Payments Agency, who monitored the grant scheme, had visited the site in 2015 and identified a number of risks including those to the public. Open gates and entry points with a lack of suitable and sufficient fencing to the site provided easy access to excavated lakes, some containing deep water, coupled with unsecure heavy plant machinery, were just some of the many poor standards found at site.
On 14 July 2015, HSE visited the site after the concern was raised and several enforcement notices were issued. Shortly after this visit, the company changed its name from Cheshire Oaks Fisheries Ltd to Rural Development Programme Limited despite Michael Simpson still directing work at the site. Written correspondence from HSE for a re-visit was ignored and entry through the main site gates was refused once additional security measures had finally been put in place, some four years after work commenced.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), found Michael Simpson had failed to put in place the necessary control measures and failed to manage safe working practice effectively during the construction phase thus putting not only workers at risk, but members of the public also.
Michael Simpson of, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, was prosecuted under Section 37 and pled guilty to breaching Section 3(1) and 33(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £594 and ordered to pay costs of £10,209.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Phil Redman said: “The defendant in this case failed to protect his workers and members of the public from risk. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
Notes to Editors:
- The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. hse.gov.uk
- More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: legislation.gov.uk/ 
- HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk