Construction News

Fri October 23 2020

Related Information

Contractor pays out £15,000 after office collapses during construction

14 May 10 A Preston contractor has been fined £3,000 and ordered to pay a further £12,000 in costs after part of an office block under construction in Blackpool collapsed, seriously injuring one worker.

A Preston contractor has been fined £3,000 and ordered to pay a further £12,000 in costs after part of an office block under construction in Blackpool collapsed, seriously injuring one worker.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the building’s designer, Peter Wallace of the Wallace Partnership, and the principal contractor, Jack Smith (Builders), following the collapse at Kirkham Crossroads on Freckleton Street.

Blackpool Magistrates’ Court heard that emergency services, including Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service’s major incident unit, were called to the scene on 14 October 2008.

The HSE investigation found that a concrete block pillar, used to support the first and second floors, had been resting on the ground floor instead of going down into the foundations.

Related Information

Allen Shute, the investigating HSE Inspector in Lancashire, said: “One of the workers’ legs was badly broken after the rubble fell on him, but the consequences could have been much worse. This was a basic error which should have been spotted by both the building’s designer and the principal contractor.

“It is common sense that the pillar supporting the floors should have gone into the foundations, and not just rested on the floor below. It’s vital companies learn lessons from this to prevent similar incidents happening in the future.”

Peter Wallace of the Wallace Partnership pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Jack Smith (Builders) pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Both charges related to the safety of workers being put at risk. Peter Wallace was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £12,318 towards the cost of the prosecution at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on 12 May 2010. Jack Smith (Builders) was fined £3,000 with costs of £12,318.

Got a story? Email news@theconstructionindex.co.uk

MPU

Click here to view more construction news »