'Lucky' builders survived collapse
Posted Mon, 23 Apr 2012
Seven builders were fortunate to survive when the supporting scaffolding around 250 tonnes of wet concrete collapsed in Merseyside, a court has heard.
The construction workers were building an atrium for a new Art and Design Academy at Liverpool John Moores University when the scaffolding holding up the concrete buckled on September 19, 2007.
They had been pumping concrete onto the third floor of the building for most of the day before the scaffolding gave way.
A subsequent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation revealed that the principal contractor for the project, Wates Construction Ltd, and the concrete subcontractor, MPB Structures Ltd had allowed the scaffolding to be erected from a preliminary design.
The drawing did not include all the necessary information needed to put up the scaffolding safely and it was clearly marked "for discussion and pricing purposes only".
Both companies admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by putting staff at risk and they have been fined a combined total of £100,000 over the incident.
Wates Construction Ltd, of Leatherhead, Surrey, was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £35,591 on April 10, 2012, while MPB Structures Ltd, of Corby, Northamptonshire, was also fined £50,000 with costs of £35,362.
Copyright Press Association 2012