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PC AND CONTRACTOR BOTCHED WALL DEMOLITION

Assessment, information and induction all found to be wanting

A Manchester building contractor and a company owner have been prosecuted after a workman was seriously injured on a refurbishment project in August 2014. The 53-year-old from Salford was employed as a labourer at the site in Portland Street Manchester.

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how two operatives working for contractor Access Flooring Specialist Ltd were demolishing a freestanding concrete block wall using a demolition hammer.

One of the men cut into the wall just above the half way point when the second man took over and continued from the top using step ladders for access.  In doing so the top half of the wall collapsed knocking him from the ladder and landing on top of him.

The injured person suffered fractures to his neck and back and spent three months in hospital following the incident. He has been unable to return to work since.

Suitable work instructions required

HSE investigation revealed that a suitable risk assessment had not been undertaken and those undertaking the work had not been provided with suitable work instructions for safely carrying out the task.

Checks had not been made regarding the training or experience of the workmen involved. The injured man was not provided with a site induction and adequate PPE for the task. The work on site was not being supervised.

  • Workspace Design and Build Ltd – of Portland Street, Manchester pleaded guilty to breach of Regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2972.
  • Paul Harrison – of Tyldsley, Manchester pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 37 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 relating to his companies’ breach of Regulation 13 (2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £1300 and ordered to pay costs of £2851

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Laura Moran said:

“The risks associated with the demolition of the internal walls at Manchester One were not properly considered and, as a result, there was no safe system of work in place for the operatives to follow.

Together with a lack of adequate supervision, these failings resulted in one man suffering serious and life changing injuries, which could have been prevented had the work been properly planned and managed.”

 

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