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Debris sacks lobbed from the fifth floor

14 Dec 15 Construction workers who lobbed sacks of rubble out of a fifth floor window landed their firm in the dock.

Sacks being chucked out of the window
Sacks being chucked out of the window

Coalville-based JA Ball Ltd was contracted to refurbish former offices into flats at Allied Place, 44 Abbey Street, Leicester.

When workers were spotted chucking big bags of debris out of the window – by officers in the police station across the road – the Health & Safety Executive was called.

HSE inspectors arrived at the site on 2nd October 2014 and witnessed the activity for themselves. They also saw unsafe working at open edges with no fall protection.

Leicester Magistrates’ Court was told company director Adam Ball decided soft stripping work should begin and walked the site with a worker who was not a site manager while issuing instructions.   

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The court heard that Ball had not ensured a refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey had been carried out on the site before work began. No risk assessments or site paperwork was given to Ball’s employee and no site file existed. There was a substantial amount of waste generated and placed into the rubble bags. These were initially taken down the stairs to a flat roof below and then dragged across the flat roof and thrown over the edge into the skip at ground level.

The flat roof had a number of unprotected fragile roof lights across it and there was no edge protection on the flat roof. Mr Ball’s employees then decided it would quicker to simply throw the rubble bags out of the window while they were working on the fifth floor. So while standing on the window sill of an open window bags were thrown to the flat roof before being dragged to skip.

HSE told the court that Adam Ball had arranged for work to begin on a site without ensuring that the proper procedures had been followed, and that all workers had been given adequate information. He also made incorrect assumptions about his employee being competent to manage this project.

JA Ball Ltd, of Property Court, Telford Way, Stephenson Industrial Estate, Coalville admitted breaching of Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £13,000 with £1,182.00 costs.

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