Worker sliced Achilles tendon on demo site

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G O’Brien & Sons (Nationwide Demolition Contractors) Limited has been fined after a nearby worker was seriously injured on a demolition site in Durham.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court heard that on 22 February 2018 the company was demolishing two semi-detached properties as part of a project to renovate a residential street. The injured person, the director of a loss assessor company, had attended his client’s property adjacent to where the work was taking place. Demolition waste had spread into the garden of the neighbouring property, and the injured person stood on a broken window panel, cutting through his ankle and Achilles tendon, whilst attempting to take photographs of the waste.

Untidy demo site
Untidy demo site

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company failed to suitably ensure that demolition work within its grounds was carried out in such a manner as to prevent danger. The work had not been thoroughly planned to ensure that demolition waste was fully enclosed within the site boundary, and there was no secure fence to prevent unauthorised access to the site.

G O’Brien & Sons (Nationwide Demolition Contractors) Limited of Durham Road, Birtley was found guilty of breaching Regulation 20(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1419.40.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Phil Chester said, “An important message to the industry is to suitably plan work and ensure that site documentation is followed throughout the duration of the work. Paperwork and planning are not just a tick box exercise.”