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FATAL FALL OF CHILD DURING FLATS REFURB

Major homebuilder failure to remove scaffold gave access to rooftop

Lovell Partnerships Ltd, of London, has been ordered to pay over £120k in fines and prosecution costs following the death of a 7 year-old boy on 23 April 2006. The company was refurbishing blocks of flats in Washington, Tyne and Wear when the boy fell to his death.

The court heard that a scaffold was erected for 12 days despite only being need for 30 mins. Children managed to climb to the roof of the building three floors up and make a den. 

The scaffold lower ladder had been removed to prevent access but it could still be accessed from balconies either side or by climbing up the first section of scaffold.

HSE Principal Inspector, Rob Hirst, said: “Sadly, this tragic incident could so easily have been avoided. The scaffold was only required for a fraction of the time it was erected. It was taken down immediately after the incident but this death may have been prevented had it been removed promptly when it was no longer needed.

“As we know, construction sites have always been an attraction to children of all ages who can sometimes view them simply as exciting adventure playgrounds. In doing so they fail to recognise the dangers that they can put themselves in when playing on sites.

All constructors must be aware and take action to prevent this unauthorised and highly dangerous access to building sites.”

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