Principal inspector Clare Owen told IOSH Magazine that Befesa Salt Slags (Befesa) had contracted Spanish firm Porvi Construcciones y Contratas (Porvi) to demolish redundant machinery at its plant in Fenns Bank, near Whitchurch on the Welsh border.“There was a crane on-site and Befesa understood that this was going to be used to provide the support for a large [metal] hopper, so it could be cut away from the structural steelwork holding it and lifted to a place of safety,” Owen said.
M&W Tarmacadam Contractors employee Darren Mundell was standing on the bonnet of a paver to cut overhanging branches at the Arkleton Estate in Langholm on 7 November 2016. He lost his balance and fell into a tar hopper, Dumfries Sheriff Court was told.Mundell sustained a spinal fracture and a damaged spinal cord which caused permanent paralysis from the waist down.The Health and Safety Executive said the bonnet was not a safe place to work.
The client on the project was also sentenced and asked to pay £75,000 for failing to supervise and monitor the demolition work adequately.A Health and Safety Executive investigation found that Jose Luis Santos Canal, who worked for Spanish construction firm Porvi Construcciones y Contratas, was part of a demolition team dismantling redundant machinery at Befesa Salt Slags’ plant in Fenns Bank, just inside the Welsh border near Wrexham, when the incident happened on 14 July 2015.
The accident happened on 29 January 2013 because the company had not identified the risks associated with the road repair work and moving traffic, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said. As a result the appropriate control measures, including temporary speed limits, signage and road closures, had not been implemented. SWH pleaded guilty to breaching ss 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It was fined £500,000 and ordered to pay £17,925 costs at Exeter Crown Court on Friday (1 December).
A routine inspection of the premises, carried out by two Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors in September 2015, found a catalogue of safety failures.Luton Magistrates’ Court was told that Plasterboard Recycling Solutions had failed to control exposure to plasterboard dust, which had coated floors, walls, ledges and machinery at the site. A follow-up occupational hygiene survey found the concentration of dust exceeded workplace exposure limits.
High-risk and complex buildings - defined as those “where multiple people live or stay and for which exceptional events could lead to the risk of large-scale fatalities” – are subject to regulations which are too complex and poorly implemented, says the report.The report calls for “simplified and unambiguous” regulations and guidance on fire safety. It says as an interim measure the government should consider “presentational changes” to improve the clarity of Approved Document B, which accompanies the Building Regulations.