Construction company fined after wall collapsed on home owner

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A building company has been sentenced after a wall collapsed on a home owner.

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how on 1 May 2018, Stephen Farnell trading as Farnell Building Contractors was demolishing a garage when a wall collapsed at the site in Colne, causing serious injuries to the home owner; his leg was amputated below the knee, he suffered head injuries which resulted in memory loss and a serious shoulder injury.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to provide suitable and sufficient measures to prevent the structure collapsing during demolition. In addition, they failed to prevent other people entering the work area including the next-door neighbour.

Farnell Building Contractors of Coniston Grove, Colne pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 19(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. Mr Farnell was given 120 hours community service order and ordered to pay costs of £1,500.

HSE inspector Jacqueline Western said after the case: “This tragic incident could so easily have been avoided if the appropriate measures were in place to demolish the walls safely and prevent access to the working area.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards”.

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