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Neath Port Talbot demolition firm fined after workers injured by collapsing floor

21-10-2013

Photo shows a section of collapsed mezzanine floor

A Neath Port Talbot based demolition firm has been fined £30,000 after two of its workers were injured when a mezzanine floor collapsed on them.

On 18 October, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Wrexham Demolition and Dismantling Ltd. following the incident which took place on 9 September 2008.

Cardiff Crown Court heard that two employees, who do not wish to be named, were dismantling the internal structure of a building at the former NEG factory on Ocean Way in Cardiff.

As part of this work a mezzanine floor needed to be demolished. Most of the mezzanine floor had been removed without incident but an alternative method was required for the last section in order to protect air-conditioning units fixed to the end wall. The method of work adopted for this last section of the mezzanine floor was significantly different and more complex that had been adopted previously.

The company failed to recognise and adapt to the different hazards inherent in the revised system of work and as the employees began to dismantle the floor, a section collapsed, trapping them beneath it.

One employee sustained cracks to his spine and lost the toes and ball of his left foot resulting in him needing a prosthesis. His colleague suffered multiple fractures to his arms, a dislocated elbow and cracked ribs, as well as severe bruising to his back and kidneys.

The court was told the method of work chosen to demolish the last part of the floor was unacceptable and dangerous.

HSE’s investigation revealed that the company had put the safety of its employees at risk by failing to ensure the specific requirements of the job were adequately assessed, planned and supervised.

Wrexham Demolition & Dismantling Ltd. of Tank Farm Road, Llandarcy, Neath Port Talbot pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £100,074.

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