Birmingham Magistrates’ Court has fined a well-known construction company and a subcontractor after a steel frame collapsed causing two employees to fall from the two separate scissor platforms they were working on.
The court fined the construction firm from Maidenhead in Berkshire £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,980 after pleading guilty to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.
The subcontractor from Spalding, Lincolnshire was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,851 after admitting the breach of the same regulations.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report revealed that the subcontractor had been employed to construct a steel framework around a concrete tank at a pumping station and water treatment centre.
Two employees aged 65 and 45 years old were working on scissor lifts approximately five metres from the ground. The workers were taking measurements of the tank wall.
Part of the steep support collapsed causing both scissor lists and the workers to fall.
Both employees sustained injuries.
The court heard that the steel reinforcement structure was inadequate and unstable due to the length and width of the steel bars.
The HSE investigation revealed that despite the construction company being aware of the risk of collapse and the need to support the tank at regular intervals, they neglected to plan and check the construction work.
Furthermore, the HSE report highlighted that the subcontractor failed to manage and supervise the early stages of the work which could have prevented any danger to the workers.
After the case was heard Luke Messenger from the HSE said:
“This was a serious incident and considering the size and weight of the wall, and the height from which the scissor-lifts overturned, it is extremely fortunate that no serious or even fatal injuries occurred.”
“Construction and related companies need to ensure that the same degree of care and attention is given to the design and construction of temporary structures as it is to the design and construction of permanent works. Everything must be properly planned so it can be carried out safely by their staff.”
“Both companies were experienced in their industry and should have done better.”