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

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

PREVENTION PLANNING REQUIRED FOR FRAGILE RISK

Fall arrest safety netting not used to mitigate fall consequences

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 17th July 2017

MANAGEMENT OF FORMWORK NOT UP TO THE MARK

Erector fell 3m after access scaffold board failed under load

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 17th July 2017

VIBRATION UNCONTROLLED & WORKERS UNINFORMED

Engineering firm fined £120,000 over hand-arm vibration risk

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 14th July 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 12th JULY 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 12th July 2017

SCAFFOLDER WAS UNTRAINED AND UNSUPERVISED

Contractor and director failed to train injured workman to CISRC scheme

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 10th July 2017

WORKPLACE MANSLAUGHTER OUTCOMES SET TO RISE

Guidelines target gross negligence with serious disregard and cost-cutting

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th July 2017

WORKMAN BURNT CLEANING WITH FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS

Flammable substance and unprotected electrical equipment trigger flash fire

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th July 2017

PUWER FAILINGS AND INJURY END IN £1,900,000 FINE

Massive fine after workman suffers friction burns caused by conveyor

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th July 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 5th JULY 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th July 2017

HSE REPORTS CONSTRUCTION DEATHS AT RECORD LOW

hselogo1Fatalities decline whilst asbestos related mesothelioma deaths rise

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 5th July 2017

CURSORY AND NEGLIGENT ASSESSMENT BY DIRECTOR

Building firm owner jailed after workman died in trench collapse

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 3rd July 2017

UPDATE – DIRECTOR AND EXCAVATOR OPERATOR JAILED

Excavation collapse dangers ignored by director and digger operator

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 3rd July 2017

HSE SAFETY ALERT: TRACK TENSIONING INCIDENT

hselogo1Workman died from hydraulic injection injury whilst tensioning track

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 30th June 2017

OXYGEN PIPE EXPLOSION CAUSED SEVERE BURNS

Components used containing materials unsuitable for use with oxygen

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 30th June 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 28th JUNE 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 28th June 2017

ROOF FALL CAUSES LIFE CHANGING INJURIES

Inadequate planning and absence of necessary equipment caused fall

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 25th June 2017

LIFT PLANNING AND CONTROL FOUND WANTING

Female building worker struck by scaffold fittings tipped from stillage

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 25th June 2017

FATALITY: CRANE COLLAPSE ON HOMES PROJECT

Two workmen die in crane collapse in Crewe

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 23rd June 2017

BUILD UK EXPLAINS PROJECT H&S TRAINING STANDARD

UK contractors clarify skill cards needed on CDM 2015 projects

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 21st June 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 21 JUNE 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 21st June 2017

CIVILS FIRMS PAYS PRICE OVER PUBLIC DANGER

Fencing wire struck member of public relaxing in own garden

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 20th June 2017
Turner Access Chipmunk Data
Total Access Ethentic
Higher Safety Turner Access