A building firm has been fined £600,000 after putting workers and show home visitors at risk by "completely ignoring" fire safety measures.

Golders Green-based S&S Quality Building Contractors' director was also fined £4,200 after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspected a site it was running at Regent House, Brentwood, in January 2018. 

The investigation was opened due to concerns people were sleeping at the location. 

Assisted by Essex Fire and Rescue Service, HSE identified failings in fire management that put workers and members of the public visiting the show flats at risk. 

The construction work was also deemed to be carried out in an unsafe manner, which HSE believed could have resulted in a fire. 

This was not the first time S&S had been subject to HSE interventions, with fire risks identified across a number of sites over several years. 

At Basildon Crown Court on October 22, S&S Quality Building Contractors Limited pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act. The company was fined £600,000 and ordered to pay costs of £36,894. 

Company director Shlomo Pines, of St Johns Road, Golders Green also pleaded guilty to contravening the Act.  

He received a community order to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and was fined £4,200. 

After the hearing, HSE inspector Prentiss Clarke-Jones said: “S&S Quality Building Contractors Limited completely ignored the importance of fire safety measures on a construction site led by a director who wilfully chose to ignore the risks despite evidence he knew how to make things safe. This unsurprisingly resulted in a site where risks were also ignored by his workers. 

“Follow the guidance, get competent advice and take responsibility that the law requires at the very least, or someone may get hurt, which thankfully did not eventuate here.” 

Mr Pines said: “The company and I accepted responsibility for inadequate fire safety measures at the site, which it was agreed by the prosecution did not give rise to a high likelihood of harm.   

“Since the offence almost five years ago, the company has put in place improved measures to ensure that that does not recur and indeed the HSE has taken no further enforcement measures against the company since that time.”