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DEMOLITION FIRM FINED OVER FALLING GUTTERING

Safety helmet probably prevented death of workman

Lawrie [Demolition] Limited has been fined for safety failings after a worker was seriously injured by falling cast iron guttering.

Valentin Taljanov, 61, fractured an arm, seven ribs, and a vertebra; suffered a punctured his lung and cut head in the incident at disused buildings at Aberdeen Harbour on 16 July 2009.

Peterhead Sheriff Court heard that Mr Taljanov, along with colleagues, was working in the vicinity of a substantial piece of cast iron guttering that had been left unsupported for two days at roof height during the demolition of old offices and warehousing

He was moving roofing materials from a platform onto the ground when the guttering gave way and struck him. One witness expressed surprise that the guttering had stayed up as long as it did.

HSE investigators found that no system in place to identify hazards that might arise as works progressed. The company failed to adequately plan and implement exclusion zones in areas where materials could fall.

Exclusion zones not enforced to keep persons out of danger

Lawrie [Demolition] Limited, of Rigifa, Cove, Aberdeen, was fined £40,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 29 of The Construction [Design and Management] Regulations 2007.

Following the case, HSE Inspector Liz Hunter, said:

“This incident was wholly preventable by taking down the guttering in one go and it was probably only Mr Taljanov’s hard hat that prevented him from being killed.

Lawrie (Demolition) Limited failed to review the constantly changing risks that are created during demolition work.

Exclusion zones were not enforced to keep staff out of areas where materials could fall, despite there being two supervisors on site and regular site visits by management. I want demolition firms to learn from this incident. There is no room for complacency and regular risk reviews are essential for site safety.”

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