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DEMOLITION PROJECT PARTNERS PROSECUTED

Horrific injury picture highlights tragic permanent effects of failure

The partners of E.J. Murray (Steel Structures) have been prosecuted  ordered to pay £25k in fines and prosecution costs following a trial at Carlisle Crown Court.

The prosecution of brothers Eric and Robert Murray follows an incident in 2008 during which workman Alan Hind fell 6m whilst involved in the demolition of an industrial building in Carlisle. The 28 year-old workman to a concrete floor causing horrific injuries and permanent changes to his sight, hearing and personality.

Robert Murray was in overall control of the project, and his brother, Eric, was in charge of dismantling the building.

Robert Murray, trading as Murray Structures, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 by not hiring trained workers, and Regulation 29(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 by failing to ensure the work was planned and carried out safely.

Injured man endured “frightening time”

Alan Hind suffered 16 skull fractures, broke his jaw in three places, fractured his wrist, damaged a kidney and is now deaf in his right ear and blind in his left eye. Parts of his brain were so badly damaged that they had to be removed.

Mr Hind has been unable to return to work since the incident, and had to wait six months for a titanium plate to be inserted into his damaged skull. He said:

“It was a frightening time. There was nothing to protect my brain – just skin. I was worried to go out. I didn’t like to be around lots of people in case I bumped my head.”

David Charnock, HSE Construction Inspector in Cumbria, said: 

“Mr Hind is lucky to be alive following his fall, which could and should have been prevented. He sustained multiple injuries which will affect him for the rest of his life.

Unfortunately neither Robert nor Eric Murray took the necessary safety precautions and Mr Hind suffered horrific injuries as a consequence. The workers they employed were casual labourers and did not have the skills or experience to work on industrial roofs.

As this incident demonstrates, carrying out work at height can result in serious injury and even death if not properly planned. Steps must be taken to prevent people falling, and everyone involved in the work must be properly trained.”

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