Blackburn-based Mullberry Homes admits multiple infringements, HSE says

A Blackburn-based housebuilder has been hit with a £116,666 fine for health and safety failings.

Mullberry Homes, of Old Hall Lane, Blackburn, failed to plan, manage and monitor health and safety work on construction sites across England, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

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The housebuilder, which in the year to 31 March 2021 posted turnover of £18.3m, received a “significant number” of formal improvement and prohibition notices due to unsafe work. However, the HSE said the firm still repeatedly failed to ensure work on sites in Aintree, Liverpool, Middleton, Rochdale and Barrow-in-Furness were carried out safely and without risks to health.

It said the firm “failed to reach the required basic legal standards”.

The HSE also found that Mullberry Homes managing director Alistair Wilcock should have ensured measures were taken to comply with the concerns raised.

The firm pleaded guilty to breaching construction regulations and was fined £116,666 at Manchester Crown Court.

Wilcock of Deer Park, Accrington, was served with a formal caution after accepting he was guilty of breaching section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

HSE said responsibility for compliance with the relevant legislation was not limited to Mr Wilcock.

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Matt Greenly, inspector at HSE, said: “Companies have a duty of care to those they employ and HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.

“Mullberry Homes and their director, Mr Wilcock had every opportunity to improve standards and maintain these improvements but they sadly failed to do so and continued to put workers and contractors at risk.” 

Mullberry posted a pre-tax profit of £8.5m in the year to 31 March 2021. Mullberry Homes did not answer calls to their offices for comment.