A demolition contractor has been fined £134,000 after two men were forced to improvise work at height equipment when their employer removed a scissor lift from the site.
Cheshire Demolition and Excavation Contractors Limited was demolishing the derelict nightclub in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, when the incident happened on 15 November 2016.
Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how the two workers had climbed into a pick bin, lifted by an excavator arm. When it suddenly released, both men were ejected from the bin and fell onto a pile of bricks and rubble. One worker suffered a fractured skull, and a second worker sustained a broken back.
The company, of Moss Lane, Macclesfield, was fined with £6,303.04 for breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It was ordered to pay £6,303.04 costs.
HSE found in its investigation that Cheshire Demolition and Excavation Contractors Limited did not properly plan the work and failed to provide suitable access equipment.
The company had provided a scissor lift on site, but decided to remove it from the site prior to the incident. The operatives had no other means of accessing areas at height.
Investigating HSE inspector David Argument said: “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”.
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