Two employee were working on second floor of demolished building with no protective equipment…
A demolition firm has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after the lives of the company’s employees were put in danger during the demolition of an office block in Liverpool.
The HSE has had to issue a Prohibition Notice requiring the company to cease all work at the site immediately until workers had been provided with the necessary equipment and protection against the specific risks associated with working at heights.
Liverpool Magistrates’ Court was told that HSE Inspectors arrived at the site in Liverpool city centre after receiving complaints about dangerous work practices there. The lead Inspector noticed that the building had been demolished all the way down to the second floor by the time she arrived. However she was concerned by the fact that workers were standing on the second floor of the demolished building and throwing waste materials and other debris to the ground below. They had no kind of fall pevention facilities in place and even the walls of the second floor of the building had already been destroyed so the workers were simply moving freely around the rubble with no kind of safety measure to protect them from a fall if they lost their balance or tripped over.
The Birkenhead-based company was fined £5,000 in addition to costs of £2,968 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
HSE Inspector Jacqueline Western who had been called to the site to investigate said:
“When I arrived at the site, it was immediately obvious that workers were in danger of being seriously injured if they fell from the building.
“Two of the employees were throwing waste materials from the edge of the second floor so could easily have fallen if they had tripped over the rubble.
“The company installed a handrail around the open edge of the building after receiving the Prohibition Notice, but if that handrail had been in place at the time of my visit then lives would not have been put at risk.”
Author: Julian Roberts
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