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 PROSECUTE OVER POOR SILICA DUST CONTROL

Principal contractor failures led to gross exposure to RCS

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 15th December 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 13th DEC 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 15th December 2017

BUILDING INFORMATION MODELLING AND CDM 2015

Major contractor explains BIM risk mitigation opportunities

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 15th December 2017

STANDARD FOR SELECTING CDM PRINCIPAL DESIGNERS

BSI publishes specification for procuring all CDM 2015 services

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 12th December 2017

CONCRETE BATCHING PLANT OPERATOR FELL 5M

Uncovered concrete chute offence fined £267,000

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 12th December 2017

FELLED TREE NARROWLY MISSED PEDESTRIANS

Video reveals that nearby motor vehicles were not so fortunate

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 11th December 2017

PRISON SENTENCE FOR SOLE TRADER CONTRACTOR

Client failed to appoint a competent contractor for roofwork

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 11th December 2017

HSE ADMITS BREACHING SECTION 2 HSW ACT

Laboratory worker suffers serious burns in setting up hydrogen test rig

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th December 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 6th NOV 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th December 2017

NEW GUIDANCE ON SUCTION/VACUUM EXCAVATORS

Site death leads to CPA Good Practice Guidance on safe use

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th December 2017

NEW RISK AND REGULATION RESEARCH INSTITUTE

HSE and Manchester University commit to new authoritative body

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th December 2017

MAINTENANCE WORKERS EXPOSED TO VIBRATION RISK

Housing Association failed control and monitor significant health risk

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th December 2017

OVERSEAS BASED FIRM FINED £3M AFTER DEATH

Principal Contractor put cost-cutting ahead of health and safety

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th December 2017

LIFE CHANGING INJURIES CAUSED BY STUDIO FALL

BBC Studioworks Ltd and contractors failed to ensure ‘basic safeguards’

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th December 2017

HIGHWAYS WORKER DIED DURING REPAIR WORKS

Signage, speed limits and effective temporary traffic management missing

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 5th December 2017

UNCONTROLLED RISK OF HARM FINED £200,000

Principal Contractor repeatedly failed to manage work at height

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 5th December 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 29th NOV 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 29th November 2017

FINGERS CRUSHED IN MANUAL HANDLING OPERATION

Firm failed to avoid manual handling task or assess and manage risk

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 28th November 2017

CUTTING THROUGH LIVE CABLE FINED £900,000

Equipment removed without effective checks on electrical isolation

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 28th November 2017

DESIGNERS AVOID HSE ENFORCEMENT UNDER CDM 2015

HSE find Designers and Principal Designers complying with CDM 2015?

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 28th November 2017

WORKER FELL FROM ASPHALT LAYING MACHINE

Improvised place of work leaves operator paralysed below the waist

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 27th November 2017

SOLE TRADER PRISON SENTENCE OVER ROOF FALL

Fall through fragile rooflight caused by poor planning and assessment

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 24th November 2017

MAJOR SUPPLIER FINED £1.2M OVER DRIVER DEATH

Delivery driver crushed by overloaded FLT at supplier factory premises

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 23rd November 2017

SOLAR PANEL BOSS SENTENCED WITH COMPANY

Director and company given hefty sentences over worker fall

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 22nd November 2017

BUSINESS LEFT LEGIONELLA RISK UNCONTROLLED

Effective management arrangements missing for tunnel wash

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 22nd November 2017
Turner Access Chipmunk Data
Total Access Ethentic
Higher Safety Turner Access