£160,000 in Fines and Costs after a Worker was Caught in a Collapse of New Structural Steel

£160,000 in Fines and Costs after a Worker was Caught in a Collapse of New Structural Steel

A Surrey construction company has been ordered to pay £160,000 in fines and costs after a worker narrowly escaped death when he was caught in a collapse of nine tonnes of steel and concrete on a site in Westerham, Kent in May 2009. Bola Akinola fell more than four metres when steelwork supporting concrete floor planks failed, causing the material to collapse. He suffered life-changing injuries including multiple fractures, was in hospital for several weeks and was unable to work for nearly a year. On the day of the incident, the sub-contractor (Mr Akinola’s employer), had laid around 50 concrete floor planks each weighing up to 2 tonnes, for the ground floor. Four planks were laid on a beam that had not been fixed properly by a separate contractor, Landmark Groundworks Ltd. The beam was not fixed at all at one end and only held with small welds at the other. As a result the beam tilted and gave way while workers were still on the planks. HSE’s investigation found that Landmark Groundworks had failed to follow construction industry established procedures designed to avoid this type of incident. Landmark had ignored design proposals by two structural engineers that would have helped ensure the project was carried out safely. In addition, they did not carry out checks on the installation to ensure it was ready to load out. Landmark Groundworks Ltd were fined £110,000 and ordered to pay £50,000 in costs after being found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

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