Death at University Sees Construction Firm in Court

The tragic death of Philip Hames has resulted in one firm being prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive. The accident has highlighted the rise in accidents occurring due to the collapse of structures within the construction and refurbishment industries.  This was an accident that could have been avoided and the awful circumstances surrounding the loss of life can be learnt from.

Carpenter Killed Instantly by Falling Concrete Plank

Mr Hames was working on the Claverton Down campus at Bath University.  The young man was one of many workers who were constructing a new block designed for accommodation. Mr Hames was killed instantly when he adjusted a prop, which was holding a plank of concrete above him.  As he made the adjustment the plank was made unstable, it fell onto Mr Hames resulting in his immediate death, and almost hit his colleague who was working with him.

The investigation performed by the Health and Safety Executive found that the workers were given free reign of where to place the supports which were holding up the concrete.  This was not appropriate, as the position of the props were critical to the safety on site.  The whole structure was unstable, as the end of the concrete had been positioned on the movement joint on a steal beam.   Mr Hames’ employees, Creagh Concrete Products should have spoken to the entire workforce about the movement in the joint and made them aware that the props should not be moved.

Due to the lack of communication, Mr Hames didn’t realise that the props should not be moved, even though he was an experienced carpenter.  None of the workers on site realised the dangers and so they were put at extreme risk. Unfortunately, Mr Hames was not aware of the dangers when he moved the prop, and this cost him his life. As a result, Creagh Concrete Products Ltd was found guilty for breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. They were fined £100,000 and ordered to pay £140,000 in court costs.

Know Your Duties as a Construction Company Owner

Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act states that employers must conduct their undertakings in a way so that employees are not exposed to health and safety risks. Temporary works or the propping of temporary structures while construction work is taking place has published standards, which provide guidance within the industry.  This guidance must be followed and has been updated since the incident involving Mr Hames.

If you are an employee in the construction industry health and safety consultants can be contacted to discuss any concerns you may have regarding the safety of your employees.  If you are aware of your duties and legislation, you can improve the safety on site and ensure you are complying with the law.

If you would like to discover the numerous health and safety services designed for the construction industry contact the expert consultants today. Call 0800 1488 677 to find out more.

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2 Responses to “Death at University Sees Construction Firm in Court”

  1. Another superb post Construction health and safety is an important issue CDM Coordinators must be involved early

  2. [...] a read – Carpenter Killed Instantly by Falling Concrete Plankhttp://www.veritas-healthandsafety.co.uk/death-university-sees-construction-firm-court/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like [...]

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