Demolition workers dice with death

Grant Prior 10 years ago
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A safety inspector ordered workers to down tools immediately after spotting them throwing rubble from the edge of the second floor of a part-demolished building.

The HSE inspector issued an immediate Prohibition Notice ordering Total Demolition UK Ltd to stop work at the site in Liverpool until workers had protection against falling from height.

Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard that the inspector was called out to the demolition site last August after receiving a complaint about the work being carried out by the firm.

When she arrived, she saw most of the building above the second floor had already been demolished.

Two of the workers were standing close to the edge of the second floor where the wall had been removed, and were throwing waste to the ground below.

They were seen clambering over rubble but no safety measures were in place to stop them falling if they tripped and lost their balance.

Total Demolition UK Ltd of Birkenhead, was fined £5,000 with £2,968 costs after pleading guilty safety breaches.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Jacqueline Western 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.”

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