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DEMOLITION CLIENT/CONTRACTOR PUT PUBLIC AT RISK

Inadequate demolition assessment and planning destabilised disused factory

Saleh Properties Ltd, of Leicester, has been prosecuted after the lives of both workforce and the public were endangered during demolition an former factory in the city centre.

The disused factory was being demolished on 21 April 2010 to make way for new homes when an HSE inspector found that the building was at risk of collapse.

Leicester Magistrates heard that structural elements of the building had been removed without proper temporary support. Workmen were observed standing on the roof, demolishing parts of the building by hand, without suitable equipment to prevent falls.

Work stopped until demo plan and supervision in place

HSE served immediate prohibition notices preventing further until a demolition plan was in place with competent supervision on site. Safety signs and fencing were required to be installed to ensure members of the public were kept away from the unsafe building.

Saleh Properties Ltd, of pleaded guilty to breaching CDM Reg 9 and Reg 28 (client and demolition duties respectively) and two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,084.

Inspector Stephen Farthing said:

“Saleh Properties showed a horrendous disregard for health and safety which was not only putting workers at risk, but also passing members of the public going about their daily lives. There was a real danger of this building collapsing.

The site supervisor had no training in health and safety, no method statements or risk assessments had been carried out before the work started and there were no welfare facilities for workers.

To run a construction company in this manner is wholly unacceptable and this prosecution shows that HSE will clamp down on small construction companies failing to adhere to basic health and safety regulations.”

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