In the news this week: a sad reminder of what can go wrong when safe access solutions are overlooked.
A demolition contractor has been fined after two workers fell from an attachment on an excavator, resulting in serious injuries.
Macclesfield-based Cheshire Demolition and Excavation Contractors Ltd were demolishing a derelict nightclub in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, when the incident occurred in 2016. The workers had climbed into a pick bin and were lifted by an excavator. The bin suddenly released from the excavator arm, causing both men to fall approximately 7m onto a pile of rubble. Both sustained serious injuries: one a broken back and the other a fractured skull.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the contractors did not properly plan the work or provide suitable access equipment. The company did provide a scissor lift on site, but took the decision to remove it from the site prior to the incident. The operatives had no other means of accessing areas at height. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. As a result, they face a £134,000 fine with £6,303.04 costs.
After the hearing HSE inspector David Argument said:
“These risks could so easily have been avoided if the work at height was properly planned and appropriately supervised. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards”.
Don’t put your workers or your team at risk! Contact us today to make sure your access solutions are safe and compliant.