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WALL COLLAPSE CLAIMED LIFE OF WORKMAN

Failed to identify risks associated with free standing walls

Mike Neesam & Son Limited has been fined after a wall collapse which led to the death of 43-year old Steven Ratcliffe.

Peterlee Magistrates’ Court heard how the employee was working on a toilet refurbishment project on Hall Hill Farm County Durham. As he walked out of a shallow trench he was struck and crushed by a collapsing wall weighing approximately 2.2 tonnes.

Mr Radcliffe died as result of crush injuries.

HSE investigators found the company failed to take the appropriate measures to prevent structures from collapsing. It was found that the wall was unsupported at the time of the incident and put employees at risk of harm.

  • Mike Neesam & Son Limited  – of Coundon Industrial Estate, Bishop Auckland pleaded guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5928.28. A victim surcharge of £120 was also ordered.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Andrew Woodhall said:

“The company failed to identify the risks associated with free standing walls and as a result this ultimately cost Mr Ratcliffe his life.

This tragic case should act as a reminder to all duty holders that appropriate safety measures need to be taken to protect employees at all times.”

 

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