Debris from demolition site not restrained

Loss assessor on adjacent property injured by stray waste

G O’Brien & Sons (Nationwide Demolition Contractors) Limited has been sentenced after a nearby worker was seriously injured on a demolition site in Durham in February 2018.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates heard that the company was demolishing two semi-detached properties as part of a project to renovate a residential street.

The injured person (director of a loss assessor company) was attending the property of his client adjacent to where the demolition work was taking place.

Demolition waste had spread into the garden of the neighbouring property, and the injured person stood on a broken window panel, cutting through his ankle and tendon, whilst he was attempting to take photographs of the waste.

HSE investigators found that the company failed to suitably ensure that demolition work within its grounds was carried out in such a manner as to prevent danger.

Paperwork and planning is not just a ‘tick box exercise’

The work had not been thoroughly planned to ensure that demolition waste was fully enclosed within the site boundary and there was no secure fence to prevent unauthorised access to the site.

  • G O’Brien & Sons (Nationwide Demolition Contractors) Limited – of Durham Road, Birtley was found guilty of breaching Regulation 20(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1419.40.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Phil Chester said:“An important message to the industry is to suitably plan work and ensure that site documentation is followed throughout the duration of the work. Paperwork and planning are not just a tick box exercise.”