Builder suffers broken leg in office block collapse
A worker was seriously injured when part of an office block he was building collapsed, underlining the importance of safety signs.
The man was working on a site at Kirkham Crossroads on October 14th 2008 when the incident occurred, causing him a broken leg under the weight of the rubble.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that a concrete block pillar had been resting on the ground floor rather than going down into the foundations.
As a result, the building's designer, Peter Wallace of the Wallace Partnership, was prosecuted for breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Meanwhile, principal contractor Jack Smith (Builders) Ltd was charged with breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Both parties pleaded guilty at Blackpool Magistrates' Court and Mr Wallace was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £12,318 in costs, while Jack Smith (Builders) was fined £3,000 with costs of £12,318.
"This was a basic error which should have been spotted by both the building's designer and the principal contractor," said Allen Shute, the HSE's inspecting officer for Lancashire.
"It is common sense that the pillar supporting the floors should have gone into the foundations, and not just rested on the floor below."
Construction sites are regularly the scene of accidents which cause serious or fatal injuries to workers, according to the HSE.
Posted by Jason Nicholls
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