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Director Receives Community Service following Fatal Accident

Poorly Planned Demolition Work causes Collapse of Concrete Roof

A West Yorkshire company director has been prosecuted and ordered to undertake 100 hours Community Service and to pay £6000 costs following the death of a construction worker.


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said after the case that employers must be aware of the need to plan ahead for the safe working of their employees.


Norman Ellis, director of Q Homes (Yorkshire) Ltd, pleaded guilty in Dewsbury Magistrates' Court to a charge under sections 2 and section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The Court heard that he had failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the health and safety of a company employee.


Mr. Ellis was working with Andrew Bridges to demolish a 2.5 tonne reinforced concrete roof at the rear of an old electrical store when Mr. Bridges was fatally crushed.


HSE Inspector Sarah Hague, who investigated the case, described it as a tragic incident, made worse by the fact that it could have easily been prevented had the work been properly planned.


“When embarking on any project such as this, which involves structural alteration and demolition work, it is a basic requirement for work to be carefully planned and risks assessed,” she stressed.


The Court was of the opinion that, in this case, a fine would not have reflected the seriousness of the offence. The way in which the work was carried out, which resulted in Mr. Bridges' death, represented very serious failings on the part of Mr. Ellis who had planned and was also carrying out the work.