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    PROJECT CLIENT PROSECUTED UNDER CDM 2015

    Building demolished without suitable precautions to prevent danger

    A CDM 2015 client, principal contractor, and demolition contractor have been fined following the uncontrolled partial collapse of a three-storey building being demolished in Inverclyde in 2015.

    Paisley Sheriff Court heard how workers with no demolition training were inside the building demolishing internal walls (by hand) when a wall and ceiling collapsed. One of the workmen suffered fractures to his neck, back and ankle.

    HSE found the client failed to make suitable arrangements for managing the demolition project and to ensure the work could be carried out safely.

    In addition, the client failed to take reasonable steps to ensure the principal contractor ensured adequate welfare facilities were provided.

    Client set project ‘tone’

    The court heard that the incident could have led to multiple fatalities and was caused by three separate duty holders not complying with their legal duties. The following sentences were imposed:

    • Taylor Grange Developments Limited – of Water Street, Birmingham pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 4(1), (2)(a) and (2)(b) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £4,500.
    • Allied Contracts Limited – of Norfolk Street, Glasgow pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 13(1) and (4) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £6,000.
    • Altan Plant Hire Limited – of Aitkenhead Road, Glasgow pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 15(7) and 20(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £20,000.

    HSE found that the Principal Contractor failed to plan, manage and monitor the project construction phase and ensure that demolition work was carried out without risk to health and safety.

    The demolition contractor appointed by the PC lacked the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and organisational capability to carry out the work safely. Adequate welfare facilities were not provided.

    The contractor failed to plan the demolition work safely and take into account the risks to workers from structural collapse. Risks relating to electricity, asbestos and falls were also not controlled.

    Speaking after the hearing HSE principal inspector Graeme McMinn said:

    ”Altan Pant Hire used inexperienced and untrained workers to demolish the three-storey building. They wrongly decided to use hand methods to demolish the building when remote demolition by machine was a much safer option.

    Allied Contracts Ltd failed to appoint a competent contractor to who could carry out the work safely and then failed to make any checks on how the work was done.

    Taylor Grange Developments Limited, as client, set the tone for the project by failing to make suitable arrangements to ensure the demolition work would be carried out safely and failing to ensure that the principal contractor they appointed was complying with their legal duties.

    In addition, none of these duty holders ensured that the workers on site had access to toilets, washing and canteen facilities. This incident is a stark reminder of what can happen when clients, principal contractors and contractors fail to comply with their legal duties.”

     

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