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DEMOLITION CONTRACTOR FAILED TO CONTROL RISK

Complaint from public to HSE brings errant contractor to court

Total Demolition UK Ltd has been prosecuted after the lives of several workers were put at risk during demolition of an old block in Liverpool in August 2012. Magistrates heard (31 January 2013) that an HSE construction inspector visited the site after receiving a complaint about the work being carried out. 

Two workmen were found standing close to the edge of the second floor where the wall had been removed throwing waste to the ground below. The men were also seen “clambering” over rubble with no safety measures in place to stop a falling if they tripped and lost their balance.

An immediate Prohibition Notice was issued to stop work on the site until protection was in place.

Danger from  falling was immediately obvious 

Total Demolition UK Ltd, of Maddock Street in Birkenhead, was fined £5,000 with £2,968 costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Jacqueline Western said:

“When I arrived at the site, it was immediately obvious that workers were in danger of being seriously injured if they fell from the building.

Two of the employees were throwing waste materials from the edge of the second floor so could easily have fallen if they had tripped over the rubble.

The company installed a handrail around the open edge of the building after receiving the Prohibition Notice, but if that handrail had been in place at the time of my visit then lives would not have been put at risk.”

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