Construction co-director jailed for 6 years

The owner of a construction firm has recently been sent down for a six year prison sentence for gross negligence manslaughter after a worker was killed and another had been seriously injured at a demolition site. The director of a second company also jailed for eight months.

The Builder had been contracted to demolish the structure which had initially housed a Carpet store. The building was due to be demolished remotely with construction plant as this had initially posed the least risk to workers. However between winning the contract. However between winning the contract and working onsite, the company’s owner decided the structure should be dismantled piece by piece instead.

The owner subcontracted a dismantling company  to disassemble the roof and use the company to remove the roof sheets at height before unbolting the supporting structure. The roof was made up of steel corrugated sheets with plastic skylights, However the skylights had deteriorated and were covered with corrugated steel.

One January morning a 47 year old employee for the dismantling company fell through one of the skylights onto the concrete floor which was 9 metres below. He sustained fractures to his spine, pelvis, right leg, heel and wrist. Also at about 4pm the same day a 42 year old worker for the same company fell through another skylight and suffered head injuries which were fatal.

The day before the accident the employee who suffered the fatal fall had a near-miss when he stepped through one of the skylights but managed to stop himself from falling.

The companies appeared at Manchester Crown Court where the dismantling  contractors were found guilty of offences under section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act