On Safety

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How not to respond to a safety inspection

July 25, 2014

A British employer recently was confronted by a government workplace safety inspector, and his reaction to the visit has landed him behind bars.

Eze Kinsley, a property developer, was onsite when an inspector from the Health and Safety Executive – the United Kingdom’s version of OSHA – showed up.

Kinsley is accused of verbally abusing the inspector to the point of making the inspector leave. Then inspector then returned with police reinforcement and issued a stop-work order for dangerous workplace conditions, including falling debris and lack of fall protection.

That’s when things got even uglier.

According to HSE, Kinsley physically assaulted the inspector. Later, HSE found out that work at the site was continuing despite the prohibition notice the agency issued, and that the site had “no safety measures” to protect workers from injuries.

“Mr. Kinsley refused to accept that he had a responsibility to make sure people who worked for him, and any member of the public living or working near his site, were not subjected to unnecessary risks – and vigorously and violently resisted all attempts to make him take actions to protect them,” HSE Inspector Jonathan Elven said in a press release.

I can’t imagine that receiving a visit from a government compliance officer is any fun, but Kinsley’s reaction definitely crossed a line.

Kinsley was subsequently found guilty of the assault and for breaching various safety laws, and on July 18 was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

The opinions expressed in "On Safety" do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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