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DEMO RISKS NOT PROPERLY IDENTIFIED AND CONTROLLED

Workers fall and are injured as stone staircase collapses under their feet

Ossian Construction Ltd of Paisley has been fined £6,000 after pleading guilty to charges of failing to ensure safe demolition and not providing proper information, instruction, training and supervision.

Two workers were injured after falling into a hotel basement when the stone staircase they were demolishing collapsed beneath them. The men were dismantling the staircase at the former Priory House Hotel in Largs in September 2007.

The men were breaking up the 150 kg stairtreads with sledgehammers when the staircase collapsed causing a 4m fall into the basement below. They were also struck by the falling debris and one man was trapped by pieces so large it needed several men to shift them.

Risks during demolition not always obvious

Following the case, HSE inspector Annette Leppla said:

“This was a serious and entirely preventable incident that will affect Mr Irvine in particular for the rest of his life.

Ossian Construction failed in their duty of care to their employees and both Mr Dever and Mr Irvine are lucky to be alive.

It’s not always obvious how old buildings are put together, and therefore it is particularly important to seek competent advice before any demolition work is undertaken.

All employers carrying out working at height must make sure they plan this work properly and give their employees the training and supervision they need to do the work safely.”

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