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Builder fined £25k after colleague loses leg

20 Dec 21 A self-employed builder has been fined after a contractor working for him was serious injured while demolishing a single-storey domestic extension.

Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard that, on 15th April 2019, the contractor was standing on the roof of a partially demolished single-storey extension of a house in Cobham, Surrey that was being refurbished. While he was on the roof, it collapsed and he smashed up his right leg. The damage was so bad that his leg was later amputated above the knee.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that there was no safe system of work in place, as the demolition work had not been adequately planned. The stability of the structure during the demolition work had not been assessed, and there were no measures in place to prevent falls from the roof.

Patrick Sheehan of Walton Street, Walton-on-the-Hill, Surrey, trading as Mastercraft Building Services, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974. He was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,383.

HSE inspector Leah Sullivan said after the hearing: “The contractor’s injuries were life-changing and he could have easily been killed. This serious incident and the devastating effects on his life, could have been avoided if basic safe systems of work been put in place.”

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