Steel firm fined £100k for school canopy collapse

Grant Prior 8 years ago
Share

A structural steelwork specialist has been ordered to pay fines and costs of more than £200,000 after five roofers were seriously injured when a canopy for a new secondary school collapsed.

The workers sustained injuries ranging from fractures and broken bones to cuts and bruising following a 13-metre plunge at the Abraham Darby Academy in Telford in August 2011.

Droitwich-based Adstone Construction Ltd was prosecuted by the HSE after an investigation identified failings with the steelwork that gave way.

Shrewsbury Crown Court heard that key pieces of the canopy truss steelwork were insufficiently welded together.

As a result when the roofing contractors added further materials to the roof, key welds failed and the structure collapsed – taking the roofers with it and causing enormous damage to the front of the new school where Kier was main contractor.

The collapsed canopy was 57 metres long and weighed in at over 40 tonnes.

A large vertical steel support column for the canopy, called the ‘skylon’ also collapsed as a direct result of the canopy failure.

HSE found Adstone Construction, which was responsible for the structure, had failed to provide adequate instructions to those responsible for the fabrication and welding of the canopy truss, and failed to adequately inspect the completed work.

One of the roof workers, Philip Drury Jr, 29, from Mansfield, was air-lifted to hospital strapped to a spinal board and in a neck brace. He was discharged after two days with damage diagnosed to two vertebrae and his shoulder.

Another worker, Mark Drury-Tuck, 32, who lives in Ripley, was taken by ambulance to hospital where he was kept in overnight for observation. He was left with pain in his ribs.

A third, Joshua Wolak, 24, from Edwinstowe, was kept in hospital overnight with a suspected fractured rib and multiple cuts and bruises.

The fourth, James Buchanan, 32, also from Edwinstowe, suffered arm injuries and swelling and bruising to his neck. He had to wear a neck brace for the two days he spent in hospital, and needed ultrasound scans and x-rays.

The final roof worker, Philip Drury Sr, 54, from Mansfield, had a fractured ankle, three cracked ribs with internal bruising, head injuries and cuts and bruising to his face and head.

Adstone Construction of Lovett Industrial Estate, Droitwich, was fined a total of £100,000 and ordered to pay £106,098 in costs after pleading guilty to a safety breach.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew Bowker said: “This incident had enormous potential for loss of life.

“The canopy collapsed suddenly and violently without warning taking the five roofers that were on it down over 13 metres to the ground on what can only be described as a terror ride. It is a miracle that they were not more seriously injured or even killed.

“Other construction workers had been working directly under the school canopy for most of the day installing windows in the new school. Fortunately they were not under the canopy when it collapsed.

“Adstone Construction Ltd fabricated the steelwork for the canopy and failed to ensure that critical welds within the design of the steel truss were completed to the required specification and size.

“This failure led the canopy to collapse as more roofing material was added.

“It is vital that companies carrying out this type of work have suitable and sufficient quality control measures in place in order to ensure that the structural integrity of the new building is never in question.”

Abraham Darby Academy

Latest news

M1 fraud probe reveals contract management problems

M1 J13-16 investigation finds £320,000 of central barrier scrap metal went ‘missing
19 mins ago

Green light for major overhaul of Surrey pharma campus

Kier and Mace in bidding revamp project with three storey glulam building at its heart
34 mins ago

Beaumont Morgan Developments goes into administration

Begbies Traynor now in charge of £47m turnover Manchester contractor
24 mins ago

Morgan Sindall hires Crossrail safety director

Carole Bardell-Wise joins infrastructure business as SHEQ Director.
33 mins ago

Roofer dies in six metre plunge through asbestos sheets

Court hears no safety nets were fitted on site
18 hours ago

Subbies stop working for Beaumont Morgan Developments

Manchester based contractor was delivering Fortis Quay for associate development company
1 day ago

Gove threatens ban on cladding suppliers failing to pay for retrofits

Cladding and insulation suppliers now in firing line for cash for £9bn post-Grenfell remediation bill
1 day ago

Bill for £22bn HS2 extension to Manchester goes to Parliament

52-mile extension of HS2 to Manchester via Manchester Airport will support 17,500 construction jobs
24 hours ago

Galliard scoops up trio of sites for schemes worth £265m

Sites in Redbridge, Ipswich and Milton Keynes to be developed
23 hours ago

Plans in for 350-flat Salford student scheme

Developer X1 hopes to start 15-storey building later this year
1 day ago

Green light for Birmingham Paradise landmark hotel

17-storey hotel will be the 'cornerstone' of Phase 2
4 days ago

Structural steel price jumps another £50 a tonne

British Steel blames New Year's price hike on continuing high product costs
4 days ago

Enabling works start at £400m Manchester First Street

Downing to start main construction in March of three resi buildings rising up to 45 storeys
4 days ago

Former BAM Nuttall chief to join Murphy

Adrian Savory to start new role as director of Major Projects division next month
4 days ago

Bouygues set for London Tustin Estate 700-home rebuild

Phased building programme to start towards the end of the year
4 days ago

Safety horror show on housing site leads to director ban

Court hears contractor ignored multiple prohibition and improvement notices
4 days ago

JV North calls up local firms for £250m new home works

Framework for home building projects worth up to £2m
4 days ago

Kier more than halves debts to below £200m

Kier chief reports steady progress in first six months of trading
5 days ago

Barhale boosts funds as it looks to rebuild turnover

Contractor confident as water companies ramp-up spending plans
5 days ago

HS2 labour agency looks to float on AIM

£23m turnover labour supply business looks to raise funds for expansion
5 days ago

Kane scores £29m M&E deal with Willmott Dixon

Off site works to play crucial role in major London estate contract
5 days ago

Graham secures third Audley retirement village

Work starts on Audley Villages site at Scarcroft, West Yorkshire.
5 days ago

Keltbray wins first deal for former nmcn infrastructure arm

Hull waste processing contract for rescued division
6 days ago

50 firms win £750m decarbonisation framework

Fusion21 framework to target 'whole building' works on homes and schools
6 days ago

Balfour Beatty UK construction MD to step down

Tom Edgcumbe to depart after just over a year as MD construction services in England and Wales
6 days ago

Crest Nicholson trebles cladding retrofit provisions to £43m

House builder revises building safety retrofit costs in face of new Government guidance
6 days ago

BAM bags £110m refurb of iconic Covent Garden tower

Landmark Seifert-designed 15-storey Space House to get two extra floors
7 days ago

Winvic to start UK’s largest speculative shed

Ellesmere Port warehouse understood to be worth around £80m
6 days ago

Kier signs deal for £169m Luton hospital revamp

Main construction work to start this month and last until 2024
6 days ago

Willmott Dixon nabs £30m Kirklees police HQ

Work to start within next few weeks on regional police HQ
6 days ago

Contractor services