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FATAL OUTCOME OF ASSUMPTION BY SHOPFITTERS

Young workman died when signage and facia fell during refurb

J B Barbour and Co Ltd has been prosecuted after a young workman died when he was struck by falling signage and fascia assembly during shop fitting work in July 2011.

Michael Kelly, aged 26, was clearing debris arising from the dismantling of shop front units when suspended signage and fascia fell, after supporting fastenings failed, striking Michael causing fatal injuries.

HSE investigators found that the company failed to properly assess the supporting arrangements for the signage and fascia. It was assumed they were supported by steel hangers and that it would be safe to remove the shop fronts.

Stafford Crown Court heard that the incident could have been prevented if work had been properly planned, assessed and supervised. The company Method Statement contained sufficient information to implement some preventive control measures. However, the site and management teams failed to recognise the need to follow their own guidance after receiving a holding request by their client which affected the sequence of work.

Simple measures involving little cost

J B Barbour and Co Limited of Glasgow pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) and Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £85,000 with £89,053 costs.

HSE inspector Grayam Barnes said after the hearing:

“The company as a whole failed to recognise the danger of working underneath a suspended object. This simple mistake led to the unnecessary death of Michael Kelly, a valued employee and a young man who was well respected both within his local community and as a musician in a local band.”

The incident could have easily been avoided by simple measures involving little, or nominal cost.”

 

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