Floor collapse breaks labourer’s leg

Grant Prior 4 years ago
Share

A Leyton building firm has been fined after a labourer suffered multiple leg fractures in a fall when a newly-built first floor collapsed under the weight of concrete blocks weighing 1.6 tonnes.

The 48 year-old casual labourer fell three metres to the ground at the site in Ruskin Road, Tottenham, on 14 September 2012, with the concrete blocks falling around him.

He sustained serious breaks in the lower leg bones and needed a major operation and a skin graft. He still cannot walk properly and is unable to return to work.

A colleague at ground level narrowly escaped being hit.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that instead of laying three courses of blocks onto joist hangers, the first floor had been loaded with two piles, each of 88 concrete blocks weighing 1.6 tonnes.

The labourer was piling up the blocks on the first floor and without the vital strengthening block work, the collapse was inevitable.

Cosmos Builders 88 was aware of the correct construction method, as eight previous houses on site had been properly completed, but had gone ahead regardless to ‘keep the workers busy’.

HSE inspectors also found poor management had led to builders had been put in unnecessary danger by being told to work at height in areas where there were no safety measures in place.

When questioned at the time, the company said they wanted to keep the workers busy while awaiting for scaffolders to arrive.

Cosmos Builders 88 Ltd, of Leyton, Waltham Forest, London, was fined a total of £6,000 and ordered to pay £4,000 in costs after pleading guilty to safety breaches

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Keith Levart said: “Both offences were caused because the Cosmos Builders instructed workers to undertake tasks that they knew to be unsafe, but were unwilling to halt the work.

“In terms of the collapse, the firm cut corners by not carrying out the first floor work to the accepted standard and then allowed it to become grossly overloaded.

“As a result, a casual labourer has suffered an injury that may prevent him from returning to manual employment for a considerable time.

“Cosmos Builders 88 Ltd did not pay enough attention to the tasks being undertaken and failed to fully appreciate the risks involved.

“For this reason, it is hugely important that if something alters on site, such as materials being late, managers must take the responsibility to re-assess the risks and make sure there are no unintended – and possibly fatal – consequences.”

Latest news

Czech facade specialist starts £60m London job

Sipral starts Canary Wharf residential twin towers for Ecoworld Ballymore jv
3 hours ago

Winners named for £400m infrastructure consultancy

Costain and Mace among line-up for Crown Commercial Services infrastructure framework
4 hours ago

Crossrail site protest as Balfour lays off 50 sparks

Contractor insists redundancies are unconnected to £5,000-a-head finishing bonus demands
2 days ago

Interserve seals £180m lending deal for extra headroom

Debbie White seals deal for more time to restructure business
18 hours ago

Betting Spy: David Moyes – an apology

The West Ham boss is working his magic and the Irons are a good bet away at stuttering Stoke
7 hours ago

Severfield lands steelwork package for Google HQ

Specialist to start work in June for main contractor Lendlease at King's Cross site
19 hours ago

Kier secures £138m London health deal

Kier P22 work haul soars to £400m
18 hours ago

Scape research reveals need for huge school building push

Procurement body calls for national school building strategy
19 hours ago

Carillion wins another £11.6m rail electrification deal

Network Rail awards station upgrade deal on Glasgow to Edinburgh route
2 days ago

Galliford Try wins £24m M49 junction

Work to start on new junction at Avonmouth in the New Year
19 hours ago

Costain director joins pipe-lining specialist

Tim Bowen takes the helm at Aquam to deliver ambitious expansion plan
2 days ago

Highways England to trial self healing roads

Sunflower oil capsules in asphalt could save £260m a year
2 days ago

Tarmac swaps quarries for Breedon concrete plants

Tarmac offloads four quarries for 27 Breedon ready-mixed concrete plants
2 days ago

Mace wins £140m London School of Economics project

Work to start on Marshall building once McGee completes demolition in the spring
2 days ago

Construction start date for £350m Tower Hamlets site

Planning go-ahead for Galliard Homes and Lindhill at Ailsa Wharf
2 days ago

Specialist Mick George moves into housebuilding

Civils contractor forms joint venture to target housing market
2 days ago

Fusion21 launches £150m sprinkler supplier panel

Local authorities and housing associations call for post-Grenfell preferred supplier list
2 days ago

Ardmore wins £77m Stratford hotel contract

Two-year build programme gets underway at the 18-storey Gantry development
3 days ago

Boost your online presence with the new Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers will showcase their products, services and latest stories
2 months ago

Lovell to start £30m Doncaster Lakeside scheme

Eastern division boasts £100m forward order book from string of schemes
2 days ago

Balfour Beatty on track for 2-3% margin by late 2018

Leo Quinn confident of paying down borrowings as they fall due in 2018
3 days ago

Skanska and Multiplex eye £100m City fringe office job

Aldgate Developments prepares to start £100m phase 2 office complex
3 days ago

Speller Metcalfe wins “non-confrontational” £16m contract

Contractor to start revamp of Derby Silk Mill next year using innovative procurement model
3 days ago

Plans for new £80m library at University of Bristol

Design team appointed as construction set to start in summer of 2019
3 days ago

Berkeley director’s wife sells £2.7m shares

Karen Ellis and John Armitt cash in shares as Berkeley soars to record high
3 days ago

Growing Geordie PRS firm plans Brum scheme

All Saints Living plans a string of build to rent projects
3 days ago

February start for £70m Brentford FC stadium

Buckingham Group set to start work on scaled-down Bees ground in West London
4 days ago

Interserve appoints ‘transformation’ director

Sally Cabrini joins board from United Utilities as Interserve set to be streamlined
4 days ago

Race on for £20m Luton Airport multi-storey car park

Bidding opens for a second major airport car park
4 days ago

Developer chosen for trio of Woking towers

Mixed-use specialist Coplan aims to start work on town centre transformation in 2021
4 days ago

Contractor services