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MAJOR CONTRACTOR PROSECUTED OVER LIFTING OPERATION

Scaffold pole fell when hoisted during lift installation on major project

Hoistway Ltd and Miller Construction (UK) Ltd have been ordered to pay over £150,000 in fines and prosecution costs after a Bristol man suffered severe head injuries when he was struck by scaffold tube falling from 15 storeys.

Richard Chodkiewicz, aged 53, was working on a lift installation at the construction site for a new Radisson Blu hotel in Marsh Street, Bristol, when the incident happened on 22 July 2008.

Three workmen were working on the lift installation. Mr Chodkiewicz and a colleague were at the bottom of the shaft and a third man was positioned at the eighteenth story hoisting a 7lb scaffold tube secured to a length of piano wire up the shaft.

The tube had reached the 15th floor, when the piano wire became untied and the tube fell striking Mr Chodkiewicz on his head. He survived, but has suffered permanent brain damage as a result of his injuries.

Effective arrangements required to prevent work below loads

HSE investigators found that Hoistway Ltd and Miller Construction (UK) Ltd failed to ensure that a safe system of working was in place for the installation of lifts on the site. There had been inadequate site management and insufficient risk assessments carried out before the work was undertaken.  Openings had been left unguarded and not enough had been done on the site to prevent the risk of falling objects.

Hoistway Ltd, based in Martock, Somerset, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £70,000 with £14,616 costs. Miller Construction (UK) Ltd, based in Edinburgh, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the same Act and was fined £40,000 plus £17,232 costs

After the hearing, Steve Frain, HSE Inspector, said:

“The contractors involved should have had effective arrangements in place to ensure that Mr Chodkiewicz was not in the bottom of the lift shaft while anything was being raised or lowered.

Even a smaller object falling on him from that height could have killed him or his colleagues. As it was, he was struck with such force by the pole that he now has severe brain damage and requires 24-hour care.”

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2 Responses to “MAJOR CONTRACTOR PROSECUTED OVER LIFTING OPERATION”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 31 AUGUST 2011 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] Hoistway Ltd – head injuries caused by falling object in lift shaft: £70,000 […]

  2. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 31 AUGUST 2011 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] Hoistway Ltd – head injuries caused by falling object in lift shaft: £70,000 […]