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A building company fined for not taking precautions under the Health and Safety at Work Act leading to injuring a member of the public (2 April 2012)

Date: 02/04/2012
Duncan Lewis, Legal News Solicitors, A building company fined for not taking precautions under the Health and Safety at Work Act leading to injuring a member of the public

The Concentra Ltd a Hertfordshire construction company has been found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work… Act 1974 when a woman who was waiting for a bus was hit by a piece of machinery which was being lifted to the fifth floor of a nearby office block.
She suffered severe multiple injuries including several broken bones and cuts and swelling to her head. She was in hospital for eight days and the injuries have affected her work and studies.
The company was fined was fined £20,000 in relation to the incident and ordered to pay costs of £21,000.
Westminster Magistrates' Court heard that the building was being refurbished and instead of traditional scaffolding being used on the site, a mast climber had been erected, which allowed workers to be raised and lowered on the outside of the building.
The HSE investigation found that a crane and lifting slings were being used to lift a 380kg, 0.6m2 by 2m high, air handling unit. The crane was not fitted correctly and during the lift, the unit hit a mast climber and was knocked out of its sling causing it to fall from height and hit the member of the public.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector, Bose Ogunsekan, said that the company failed in its duty to comply with the safety norms for persons exposed to its activities. Using crane to lift the type of load it was shifting should have been fully risk assessed during the planning stages of the project.
In addition, further measures that would have also protected members of the public from site traffic, such as an alternative pedestrian route and a temporary bus stop elsewhere, could have prevented injury to passersby he added.

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