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Written by
on 04 February 2013


Liverpool Magistrates Court heard about an incident where many workers had their lives put at risks this week.  The workers were working to demolish an old office block when the problems were discovered. The Health and Safety Executive were notified by a lady who had come to oversee the work taking place.

Concerned Woman Contacted the HSE

When the woman arrived she discovered that most of the top part of the building located above the 2nd floor had already been taken down – yet there was no protection put in place to stop any of the workers, or the materials from falling to the floor below. The inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive arrived and found that the woman was right to be concerned. Two workers were stood very close to the edge of the top part of the building where the wall had been taken down. The men were throwing the waste to the floor and were seen clambering over the waste. The inspectors found there weren’t any safety measures in place and if the men were to slip or trip there was nothing to stop them from going over the edge.

Total Demolition were prosecuted and pleaded guilty for breaching the Work at Height Regulations. They were fined £5,000 and must pay £2,968 in court costs. Jacqueline Western, an inspector for the Health and Safety Executive, spoke after the case was heard on January 31. She said that the two men could have easily fallen and been seriously injured.  Since the incident the company have put up rails, complying with the Prohibition Notice they were served with when the inspectors arrived on site.

You Must Have Safety Precautions in Place when Working at Height

Safety precautions must be in place to help stop workers from falling from height. If the handrail had been in place when the HSE went to investigate the complaint there wouldn’t have been any need to prosecute the firm. The handrail helps to create a barrier and provides a safety net to stop workers from falling over the edge of the property they are working on. It’s just one of the ways that you can work to keep employees safe when conducting work at height.

Health and Safety Consultants provide many construction services that can help to ensure your firm is working within the law.  The consultants are able to help with CHAS registration applications and provide complete health and safety packages to assist you.  Other construction health and safety services include:

  • Workplace Risk Assessments
  • Method statements
  • Production of health and safety policies
  • Conducting regular site safety inspections
  • Assistance when preparing a health and safety file

Don’t put lives at risks. Concerned members of the public, clients and drop in inspections can result in Prohibition Notices and lead to prosecution in court. Call 0800 1488 677 to learn more.

About the author

David Cant is a Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME’s favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick. You can find him across social media on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

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