Westfield fined after Christmas roof fall

Grant Prior 7 years ago
Share

The owners of the Westfield shopping centres have been fined after a worker suffered a fractured shoulder in a fall during construction of a roof extension at White City mall.

Westfield Shoppingtowns Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive following the incident at the west London complex on 20 December 2013.

Westminster Magistrates heard that the company was also the principal contractor for the construction of a two-storey roof extension to an existing retail store, part of a ‘Kidzania’ project to provide a new leisure and educational facility for children.

The 39-year-old worker, Brett Mason, from Sedgley, West Midlands, was one of a team of subcontractors hired to relocate five units, used to supply and circulate air in the building, from the previous roof level to the new roof plant deck.

On the night of the incident, he and a colleague had been finishing work in preparation for the Christmas break and, in a final check of the plant deck, the two had a walk around to ensure all their materials were safely secured and not liable to blow off the roof in high winds.

They went into an area of the plant deck where installation of the mesh flooring had been recently completed and where they had stored large sections of duct.

They found two duct sections they felt were not securely lashed down, so they decided to untie them and lay them down before securing them firmly.

As they were about to work on the second duct, Mason stepped back and fell through an unprotected 8m x 1m gap in the plant deck mesh flooring, landing on the roof deck two metres below.

He sustained a dislocated and fractured right shoulder and was unable to work for six months.

The court heard that HSE’s investigation found the worker’s fall could have been easily avoided had edge protection been placed around the gap, as is the accepted practice to protect workers operating at height.

Westfield Shoppingtowns Ltd, of MidCity Place, High Holborn, London, was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £1,247 in costs after admitting a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Loraine Charles said: “The hole through which Mr Mason fell was one of a number of planned gaps in the plant deck mesh flooring.

Westfield Shoppingtowns Ltd was well aware of the potential for the creation of risks of fall from height.

“As the principal contractor, it should have ensured that steps were taken to mitigate those risks whenever and wherever they arose.

“It was under a duty to ensure that the installation of the plant deck flooring was planned to make certain that intended gaps were provided with suitable edge protection at the earliest opportunity.

“This painful injury to Mr Mason, the after-effects of which still continue to have an impact on his daily life, could and should have been prevented.

“Falls from height is the biggest cause of fatalities in the workplace, and the second biggest cause of serious injuries.”

Latest news

ISG pauses work on £300m gigaplant

Construction work rescheduled to reduce costs at giant car battery plant
18 hours ago

Tory leadership battle delays bidding for HS2 phase 2a

Prequalification for £5.2bn-£7.2bn route to Crewe put back to September
18 hours ago

Greswolde Construction goes under

Solihull contractor ceases trading with 24 jobs lost
3 days ago

Hanson on track for UK’s first net zero cement works

20 carbon capture projects shortlisted for £1bn funding
17 hours ago

Plan in for Nottingham 967-room student scheme

Vita submits plan for second major purpose built student sh
18 hours ago

Galliford Try gets go-ahead for next A47 dualling job

Early 2023 start for £200m section of A47 between North Tuddenham and Easton in Norfolk
18 hours ago

Designs revealed for £1bn London Blackfriars tower blocks

Fosters design landmark green office skyscraper and two blocks of flats for Southwark site
4 days ago

Everton stadium job still on budget despite inflation

Club and Laing O'Rourke confident they can still build new ground for £500m
4 days ago

Construction output falls 1.4% halting 7-month growth spurt

Fresh output and orders figures confirm summer construction slowdown
4 days ago

McLaren gets green light for £85m build-to-rent scheme

Construction set to start this autumn on major city centre development
4 days ago

BAM limbers up for £25m Bedworth leisure centre

Pioneering Warwickshire health and fitness hub to start this autumn
4 days ago

Keepmoat to start four-year build in Wigan

Major regeneration scheme to start across four sites
4 days ago

Solihull contractor Greswolde heading for administration

New investors took over business 12 months ago
5 days ago

Duo win £500m canal and river main works deal

Kier and Bentley bag Canal & Rivers Trust's largest ever water engineering works deal
5 days ago

Construction Manager of the Year finalists revealed

70 of the industry's brightest talents: Full list
5 days ago

Willmott Dixon fills new strategic change director role

Vistry Group change director joins private builder to support future growth
5 days ago

Work starts on £42m Oldham Spindles overhaul

Willmott Dixon signs off £42m deal to create new market, offices and event space
5 days ago

Firms wanted for Telford & Wrekin £1.6bn building works DPS

Call up for dynamic purchasing system covering building and refurbishment work
5 days ago

Kier pulls off contracts league double in July

Contractor bags highest value of new work and tops rolling 12 months ranking
6 days ago

Hinkley Point C giant water intakes craned onto seabed

Video: contractors complete one of the world’s most complex marine engineering projects
6 days ago

Taziker revenue jumps 30% to record £73m

Multi-disciplinary engineering specialist boosts headcount to 366 staff
6 days ago

Consultant buys scaffolding contractor

RSK Group makes MG Scaffolding its latest acquisition
6 days ago

M&E specialist gears up for £16m Aston Martin package

Major package award on McLaren Silverstone site
6 days ago

Plans in for Brentford 110-flat canalside scheme

Makers’ Yard mixed commercial and residential use scheme
6 days ago

WSP to buy consultant RPS Group for £591m

5,000 staff at Oxfordshire based firm to join WSP
7 days ago

Countryside puts offsite factory up for sale

Offers invited for Bardon plant which is less than a year old
7 days ago

M&E specialist Spie UK arm returns to profit

French parent group launches a strategic review of UK operations after performance stabilises
7 days ago

Site boss fined for locking out safety inspectors

Police called to enter site before fire fighters rescue workers stranded on roof
7 days ago

Rebid starts for £200m M5 junction job

Cost inflation forces retender for £200m junction 10 rebuild near Cheltenham
7 days ago

New Downing Construction boss named

Andy Thomas takes top job as Ian Orton steps back after 24 years
7 days ago

Contractor services