At Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Court in December 2018, a Cheshire based demolition company was fined after pleading guilty to breaching Health & Safety Regulations which resulted in an incident inflicting serious injuries upon two employees.

Amandeep Murria of Kangs Solicitors sets out the circumstances.

The Circumstances | Kangs Solicitors Health and Safety Team

  • The Court heard how, in November 2017, two employees of the company were working on a site in Cheshire where a derelict night club was being demolished.
  • The two employees climbed into a pick bin being raised by an excavator but which, unfortunately, became detached resulting in them falling onto rubble and bricks.
  • One of the employees suffered a broken back and the other suffered a fractured skull.

The Investigation | Kangs Solicitors Health and Safety Advisory Team

The Health & Safety Executive (‘HSE’) discovered that: 

  • the company had failed with its duty to provide suitable access equipment
  • the work being carried out had not been properly organised
  • a scissor lift required to assist in the proper conduct of the exercise, was initially available but was removed prior to the incident
  • there were no available alternatives to access areas of height.

The Relevant Law | Kangs Regulatory Law Advisors

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (‘the Act’) provides:

‘2  General duties of employers to their employees.

(1) It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of an employer’s duty under the preceding subsection, the matters to which that duty extends include in particular—

(a) the provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health;

(b) arrangements for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances;

(c) the provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees;

(d) so far as is reasonably practicable as regards any place of work under the employer’s control, the maintenance of it in a condition that is safe and without risks to health and the provision and maintenance of means of access to and egress from it that are safe and without such risks;

(e) the provision and maintenance of a working environment for his employees that is, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe, without risks to health, and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work.

The Hearing | Kangs Health and Safety Solicitors

The Demolition & Excavation Company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2 (1) of the Act and was:

  • fined £134,000
  • ordered to pay Prosecution Costs of £6303

An Inspector from the HSE, David Argument was quoted as saying:

“These risks could so easily have been avoided if the work at height was properly planned and appropriately supervised. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards”.

How Can We Help? | Kangs Safety At Work Solicitors

Kangs Solicitors has a wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with all matters of health and safety law.

Our specialist solicitors are able to provide advice and assistance throughout the entire criminal process, from the initial intervention by the HSE through to enforcement, interview under caution and ultimately the defence of any ensuing criminal prosecution.

Who Can I Contact For Help? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors

Please feel free to contact our team through any of the solicitors named below who will be happy to provide you with some initial advice and assistance.

Hamraj Kang
hkang@kangssolicitors.co.uk
07976 258171 | 020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888

John Veale
jveale@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396

Amandeep Murria
amurria@kangssolicitors.co.uk
020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888

Helen Holder
hholder@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396