Turner Access Higher Safety Total Access
Total Access Ethentic Chipmunk Data
Chipmunk Data Turner Access Ethentic

DEATH OF CHILD PROMPTED FIREPLACE SAFETY ALERT

Contractor prosecuted after tragic fall of stone mantle in new home

Stonemason Kristian Childs (KD Childs Stonework of Luton T/A) has been prosecuted after part of a fireplace toppled and caused the death of a four-year-old boy at his Northamptonshire home.

Mr Kristian Childs was contracted to install stone fireplaces in new homes, including one in Towcester, which was subsequently bought by David and Gail Green. The couple moved into the property with their son Matthew and older daughter in June 2003.

On 15 October 2005 the 47kg fireplace mantel came away from the wall without warning and fell on Matthew. He was airlifted to hospital but died of his injuries shortly afterwards.

HSE found that Mr Childs had secured the mantel with small patches of mortar rather than mechanical fixings. Northampton Crown Court heard (26 June) that Mr Childs was aware of the need to ensure fireplaces were properly secured after two others he had fitted at other properties were found to be insecure by the home owners.

Defendant aware of risks but failed to take correct steps

Kristian Childs, 42, of Chestnut Avenue, Sundon Park, Luton, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £7,500 with £2,500 costs.

After the hearing Alan Craddock, Head of Operations for the HSE’s Midlands construction division said:

“This was a tragic incident that devastated a young family, made so much worse by the fact it could have been so easily prevented.

Every stone used in a fireplace must have a mechanical fixing, such as a steel bracket and screws, to hold them together and against the wall. A few small patches of mortar are not acceptable because it cannot guarantee a secure bond.

Mr Childs was well aware of the risks of falling fireplaces yet failed to take the correct steps to ensure the fireplace he fitted at Coulthard Close was safe, with appalling consequences.”

Matthew’s mother, Gail Green, said:

“Losing Matthew was devastating. We miss him every day and will never truly recover from the events of that day.

We urge anyone involved with the installation of fireplaces to learn from what happened to our precious son and take steps to ensure that they take the time and trouble to fit them properly. If they don’t then lives will continue to be put at risk and Matthew’s death will have been in vain.”

Since the incident HSE has issued an Safety Bulletin providing information for contractors on preventing risk to occupiers from the installation of modular, stone and artificial stone fireplace surrounds.

Latest Construction Health and Safety News

HSE CONSTRUCTION FATALITY RECORDS: Q1 2017/18

Latest HSE fatality records reveal four (4) deaths in first three months

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 23rd August 2017

HSE ON SILICA DUST (RCS): RISK MANAGEMENT UPDATE

New guidance available on key HSE Construction Sector priority

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 23rd August 2017

HOUSEHOLDER EXPOSED TO ASBESTOS RISK

Builder removed AIB during garage conversion in unsafe manner

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 22nd August 2017

ASBESTOS REMOVAL FIRM IN MULTIPLE BREACH

Director sentenced to prison term and company fined £100k

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 22nd August 2017

WORKMAN DIED IN FALL DURING ROOFWORK

Contractors failed to manage risk, communicate and coordinate work

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 22nd August 2017

SCAFFOLDING FIRM FAILED TO FOLLOW STANDARDS

Untrained and unsupervised workman lacked safety equiment

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 22nd August 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 16th AUG 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 21st August 2017

UPDATED SCAFFOLDING DESIGN E-GUIDE RELEASED

NASC launches enhanced TG20:13 eGuide scaffold design tool

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 14th August 2017

NASC LAUNCH FREE TO DOWNLOAD GUIDANCE

Access and scaffolding guides now open to members and non-members

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 14th August 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 9th AUGUST 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 11th August 2017

NEW GUIDANCE ON UNINTENDED PLANT MOVEMENT

Industry Plant Safety Group highlights hazards and key control measures

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 11th August 2017

SCAFFOLD COLLAPSE CAUSED BY LACK OF TIES

Falling structure narrowly misses passerby and lands on parked cars

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 11th August 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 2nd AUG 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 2nd August 2017

TRAINING IN CIRCULAR SAW USE FOUND WANTING

Joinery firm failures end in serious hand injury and £230,000 fine

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 31st July 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 26th JULY 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 31st July 2017

WALL COLLAPSE CLAIMED LIFE OF WORKMAN

Failed to identify risks associated with free standing walls

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 31st July 2017

WORKMAN FELL DURING WELDING WORK AT HEIGHT

Ladder access to water tank top was insecure and slipped when used

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 31st July 2017

CCTV INSTALLER FELL BETWEEN FLOOR JOISTS

Principal Contractor and CCTV specialist failed to plan and manage risk

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 31st July 2017

FACTORY APPRENTICE FELL DURING GUTTER CLEANING

Young workman stepped back and fell 9m through fragile rooflight

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 31st July 2017

CROSS RAIL JV CONTRACTORS FINED OVER FATALITY

Firm prosecuted after concrete fall death and two other tunnel incidents

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 31st July 2017

CONTRACTORS FAILED TO REVIEW ASBESTOS SURVEY

Major companies fined £1,000,000 plus over asbestos risk during refurb

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 31st July 2017

MAJOR CONTRACTORS LAUNCH H&S ALERT SYSTEM

Build UK members share information for effective prevention of harm

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 19th July 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 19th JULY 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 19th July 2017

STRUCTURAL SAFETY BODY LATEST NEWSLETTER

SCOSS publishes reports and expert comment on a range of issues

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 18th July 2017

SAFE SYSTEM DEVISED BUT NOT IMPLEMENTED

Workman injured by goods falling from double-decked trailer

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 18th July 2017
Turner Access Chipmunk Data
Total Access Ethentic
Higher Safety Turner Access