A firm has been landed with a £30,000 fine and ordered to pay £100,074 in costs after two demolition workers were injured when a factory floor collapsed on them.
Cardiff Crown Court heard that the two men were dismantling the inside of a building at the old NEG factory on Ocean Way, Cardiff, when the incident happened in September 2008.
Their employer, Wrexham Demolition & Dismantling Ltd, admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), prosecuting, told the court that part of their work involved demolishing a mezzanine floor. Part had been successfully removed but the final section had required an alternative, more complicated, method to protect a set of air-conditioning units in the building.
Workers trapped after collapse
As the workers, who did not want to be named, began dismantling the last section part of it collapsed, trapping them underneath it, the court heard.
One of the workers suffered a cracked spine. He also lost the toes and ball of his left foot. The other sustained multiple arm fractures, cracked ribs, bruising to his kidneys and back and a dislocated elbow.
The HSE said the firm, of Tank Farm Road, Llandarcy, Neath Port Talbot, had failed to recognise or adapt to the different hazards involved in the way their workers removed the final section, telling the court the method was unacceptable and dangerous.
The court heard the HSE’s investigation had found the company put its employees’ safety at risk by failing to make sure the work was properly planned, assessed and supervised.
Following the case HSE inspector Wayne Williams said demolition work was a “particularly dangerous activity”. He added: “As a result, it is essential that the work is properly planned and managed, and then carried out in accordance with a robust and safe system of work.”
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Date Published: October 22, 2013
Author: David Brown