Employee breaks both legs after two tonne slab collapses onto his vehicle…
A demolition firm has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an excavator driver was seriously injured at Old Trafford Cricket Ground when a part of a stand collapsed onto him.
The 33-year-old accident victim from Warrington broke both of his legs and had widespread cuts and bruising after the incident in which a two tonne concrete slab that was four metres wide fell from a stand onto his vehicle.
The demolition firm thatemplo yed the man was prosecuted after the HSE investigation revealed that the demolition work didn’t have a safety plan of the necessary standard in place. The company was also criticised for positioning the excavator vehicle too close to the stand that was being demolished thereby significantly increasing the risk of injury.
At Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard the company pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 which state the obligation the employer has to ensure the safety of their workers and to plan and carry out the demolition work in a safe manner. The company was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay an additional £12,000 in costs.
HSE Inspector Alan Pojur spoke after the hearing:
“The excavator driver was lucky not to have been killed when the two-tonne concrete slab collapsed onto his cab.
“His life was put in danger because the demolition firm didn’t plan the work properly.
“They should have arranged for a high-reach excavator to be used so that the stand could be demolished from a safe distance away. It was only after the incident that this safe method of work was implemented.
“Demolition work has the potential to be extremely dangerous so it is vital firms plan projects properly and provide appropriate supervision to make sure workers stay safe.”
The HSE report that 50 construction workers were killed in the UK in 2010/11, almost one every week, while there were nearly 3,000 major injuries.
Author: Julian Roberts
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