A company owner and building contractor based in Manchester have been fined after a worker was seriously injured in an accident at work.
Accident at work
Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how two men working for Access Flooring Specialist Ltd were using a demolition hammer to knock down a freestanding concrete block wall at the site of a refurbishment project at Manchester One, Portland Street, Manchester.
One of the operatives was cutting into the wall just above the half way point when the second worker took over, using a step ladder for access. As the second man took over, the top half of the wall collapsed, knocking him from the ladder before landing on top of him.
The 53-year-old father of two from Salford suffered fractures to his neck and back and spent three months in hospital following the accident at work. He has not been able return to work since the incident on 29 August 2014.
Health and Safety Investigation
An investigation into the incident by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that workers had not been provided with instructions for carrying out the work in a safe manner. It was also found that there had been no supervision or checks during the injured worker’s training and he had not been given a site induction, nor was the work supervised.
Furthermore, the HSE investigation found that there was no adequate risk assessment in place for the work being carried out.
Sentencing and fines
Workspace Design and Build Ltd of Manchester One, Portland Street, Manchester pleaded guilty to breach of Regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. The company was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,972.
Paul Harrison of Kirkfell Drive, 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. The former director of Access Flooring Specialist Ltd was fined £13,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,851.
HSE Inspector Laura Moran said after the hearing:
“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.”
Accident at work compensation – expert advice
Compensation may be available if you have been injured in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault. More information can be found via our ‘Accidents at Work’ page.
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Source: Health & Safety Executive