Contractor Fined After Wall Collapse: A landscape contractor has been fined £20,000 plus costs after a worker was seriously injured injured when a retaining wall collapsed and trapped him underneath.
Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court heard that while he was excavating a trench in front of an existing blockwork wall, a section of the wall collapsed and fell on him trapping him underneath. He sustained a complex fracture to his pelvis which required surgery and he has not been able to return to work since the incident.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company failed to properly plan and manage the installation of the timber structure, and had not put sufficient control measures in place to prevent the collapse of the existing blockwork wall.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 19 (1) of The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1048.86 and a victim surcharge of £220.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Cain Mitchell said: “This case highlights the dangers of undermining a free-standing wall by excavating alongside the structure without appropriate planning and the necessary precautions in place.
“If the company had implemented reasonably practicable measures that minimised the risk to persons working next to such structures this incident could easily have been avoided.”
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