This article was published on April 24th, 2017
A construction worker was seriously injured in wall collapse whilst working on a building project. The flooring specialist company was subcontracting to a refurbishment design project company at the time of the accident and therefore both companies were investigated by the Health and Safety Executive.
The workplace accident happened when two workers were using a demolition hammer to take a freestanding concrete block apart. One of the workers began to cut the wall just over half way up and then they swapped over and the second labourer began demolishing from the top of the wall which then collapsed under the weight of the man and ladder resulting in him sustaining fall and crushing injuries.
The 53 year old man suffered breaks to his neck and back and was hospitalised for 3 months and has been unable to return to work.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the principal contractor for the project and the former director of the flooring specialist company were liable for prosecution due to serious safety failings.
A Magistrates’ Court heard how there was no risk assessment for the demolition of the wall, no suitable supervision or checks on the workers training and experience to carry out such a job using heavy duty tools. As a result both companies pleaded guilty to the HSE’s findings for breaching Regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and they were fined £14k and ordered to pay legal costs of £2972.
One of the company director’s pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 37 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 relating to his companies’ breach of Regulation 13 (2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £1300 and ordered to pay costs of £2851
An HSE inspector said: “The risks associated with the demolition of the internal walls at …… were not properly considered and, as a result, there was no safe system of work in place for the operatives to follow.
“Together with a lack of adequate supervision, these failings resulted in one man suffering serious and life changing injuries, which could have been prevented had the work been properly planned and managed.”
Accidents at work can be embarrassing, stressful and in worst cases, life changing! We often blame ourselves when they happen but were you given the right tools, information and equipment to do the job safely? Was the job risk assessed and properly supervised? Were you given the proper training to do the job? Are all the tools and machinery maintained and fit for purpose?
If you are unsure if you are at fault or not then speak to one of our specialist solicitors who find out for you and will handle every aspect of your work accident compensation claim, providing the support and expertise you deserve.
We offer a free initial interview in order to review your specific circumstances and assess the viability of your personal injury claim.
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