Worker killed by son after wall collapses

A building contractor has been fined over serious safety breaches after a worker was killed by a piece of falling cob wall being demolished by his son.

Alaister Copland, trading as Do it Al, was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay compensation to the family of £2,390 at Dorchester Crown Court in a case brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after the fatal incident.

Copland, of Queen's Drive, Moreton, Dorchester, pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Agency workers Jamie Ford 24 and his father, Stephen Ford, 50, were working under the control of Do It Al to demolish a barn at Dunbury Farmhouse in Winterbourne Houghton near Blandford in November 2008.

Son Jamie was using a handtool to demolish the wall when a piece came down and hit his father Stephen on the head. The HSE investigation found neither man was wearing a hard hat and Stephen, of Poole, died of his injuries at the scene.

The court heard no plan of work for the demolition was in place and Alaister Copland had no experience in demolition work of this kind.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector, Helena Tinton, said:
"This is a tragic case which clearly demonstrates the dangers of carrying out demolition work without suitable planning.

"There were multiple failings with this project. In addition to having no written plan for the demolition work, there was inadequate supervision and no-one on site wore head protection.

"This demolition work should have been carried out remotely using machinery with clearly marked exclusion zones in place.

"In failing to plan and carry out the demolition of this building in a safe manner a family has suffered the devastating consequences of worker contributing to his own father's death - an absolutely tragic situation."

Your News

If you've got a story that would be of interest to Builder & Engineer readers, send us an email

Features

2014-12-17 11:31

Sven Armbrecht business development manager at LG Solar looks at what's next for solar power

2014-12-17 11:09

Sandra Brandon project communications campaign manager at the Vehicle & Operator Services Agency explains why van compliance is important

2014-12-17 10:57

UK Export Finance estimates that up to 3,000 smaller businesses and 500 medium-sized and large businesses in the UK could need specific support to finance their export activities over the nex

2014-12-03 10:00

Peter Vinden, managing director of The Vinden Partnership, looks at how the Autumn statement can make a difference to the north of the country

2014-12-03 09:34

Solar roadways, self-healing concrete and the “Internet of Things” to shape our roads in the future

2014-11-19 11:04

Chris Davies, director of Prescott Jones Property and Construction Risks, part of the Prescott Jones Insurance Group explains how to satisfying lenders' insurance requirements

2014-11-19 10:48

Ashley Haines, design manager at Trelleborg talks noise and vibrations in buildings

2014-11-05 12:08

Young Brits should benefit from the thousands of apprenticeships and jobs now up for grabs as housebuilders look to build more homes in the year ahead, Housing Minister Brandon Lewis has said.

Free E-newsletter Sign-Up

Sign up for our free e-newsletter

Looking for a company or service?