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Builders fined for working platform failure

22 Mar Two construction companies have been fined after a bricklayer was injured when a working platform failed.

Durham Crown Court heard how Dere Street Homes was acting as principal contractor and provided components for a proprietary polypropylene working platform at a new build at Marley Fields in Wheatley Hill, County Durham.

SGS Construction & Design was acting as a contractor and supplied workers to erect the working platform. On 1st July 2019 the working platform failed and a worker was injured.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that a number of components were missing from the platform. Although previously workers supplied by SGS were formally trained in the erection of the components to form a safe working platform, the worker who erected the failed platform had not received adequate training.

A site manager working for Dere Street Homes had signed off the platform as safe several months before the incident but there had been no subsequent inspections.

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Dere Street Homes Limited of Cornsay Colliery, County Durham pleaded guilty to  breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations. It was fined £38,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,367.30.

SGS Construction & Design Limited of Blackhill, Consett, County Durham pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15(2) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations. It was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,683.60.

HSE principal inspector Rob Hirst said after the hearing: “Although the worker did not suffer life changing injuries, there was a potential for more serious injury. Those in control of work have a responsibility to ensure that workers are adequately trained, properly supervised, and work  activities are appropriately monitored.”

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