A company’s failure to understand the risks associated to free standing walls cost a worker his life, according to a Health and Safety Executive inspector.
Man crushed by falling wall
Steven Ratcliffe, 43, was killed when a wall collapsed on him. He was working for Mike Neesam & Son Limited at a site in County Durham when the accident occurred.
The North East based company has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5928.28, by Peterlee Magistrates’ Court.
Mr Radcliffe had been working on a toilet refurbishment project on Hall Hill Farm. He was trying to walk out of a shallow trench when he was struck and crushed by a collapsing wall weighing around 2.2 tonnes.
Highlights need for safety measures
The HSE investigation revealed that the company hadn’t taken the appropriate measures to prevent structures from collapsing. The inspector also found that the wall had been left unsupported at the time of the incident.
Mike Neesam & Son Limited pleaded guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
HSE inspector Andrew Woodhall said: “The company failed to identify the risks associated with free standing walls and as a result this ultimately cost Mr Ratcliffe his life.
“This tragic case should act as a reminder to all duty holders that appropriate safety measures need to be taken to protect employees at all times.”
Reference: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: August 13, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown