The following is an abridgement of an article originally published on The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.
A demolition company has been fined £60,000 after a labourer suffered life changing injuries when a large piece of masonry fell on him during demolition work in London.
The incident happened on 2 March 2022, when a 57-year-old labourer, was working for a firm contracted to carry out soft stripping works and roof demolition on a Victorian property.
The worker was clearing bricks for reclamation at the corner of the building when a large piece of masonry fell from the unstable roof, landing on top of him. He was left with significant long-term injuries including a broken shoulder and 12 broken ribs, as well as spinal and internal injuries.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) conducted an investigation and found that the firm had failed to adequately assess the risk of falling objects during demolition and failed to implement and enforce adequate exclusion zones.
The firm pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 20 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. They were fined £60,000 and ordered to pay £3,229 costs at a hearing at Willesden Magistrates Court on 2 November 2023.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Gordon Nixon said:
“[the workers'] injuries were life changing and he is lucky to be alive. This serious incident and the devastation it caused could have been avoided if basic, industry standard control measures had been put in place. Companies need be aware that we will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
Incidents like these are often traced back to normal oversights by human workers when no formalised system is kept in place to avoid issues slipping through the cracks. Industry-tested tools for streamlining risk management and compliance are available, and reduces hazard management complacency by standardising protocols.
Demolition company given £60,000 fine as worker seriously injured, by HSE, 2nd November, 2023.