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Seven People Lucky to Be Alive After Concrete Collapses at University
Posted by David Cant on April 13, 2012
1 Comment

Two firms have been fined after seven construction workers narrowly escaped being killed after concrete collapsed at John Moores University in Liverpool. Over 250 tonnes of wet cement caved in when the atrium of the Art and Design Academy was being built.  The construction workers suffered from a number of injuries ranging from burns to the eyes and their skin as well as broken bones. It is a miracle that no one was killed in an accident that could have been avoided with the correct health and safety planning.

Scaffold Support for Concrete was Not Up to the Job

In September 2007 the seven men were working on the third floor of the building, pumping it full of concrete.  Unfortunately the concrete was being supported by scaffolding which failed and collapsed.  As a result of the following investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive two companies, were prosecuted which were the main contractor, Wales Construction and the subcontractor responsible for the concreting job, MPB Structures.

The scaffolding was built based on a design which was created for purely pricing and for the purpose of discussions. There were no details in the design of the scaffolding such as how to build the scaffolding safely and correctly. The investigators also discovered that after the scaffolding was erected it was not checked over before the pouring of cement began.

Putting Workers at Risk Results in Combined Fines of £100,000

Both of the companies were prosecuted for their breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Because they put their workers at risk Wales Construction was fined £50,000 with an additional £35,591 of legal costs applied. MPB Structures was fined £50,000 as well with court costs of £35,362. It is the responsibility of the contractors to ensure that their workers are not put at risk. By not ensuring the scaffolding was suitable all of the workers were put in serious danger.

The health inspector, Susan Ritchie, has highlighted the important of planning when it comes to projects. Managing projects is vital and only with a combination of planning and managing can you reduce the risks of things going dangerously wrong.

The collapse of the wrongly designed and constructed scaffolding caused seven men to fall ten meters into wet concrete. The companies should have used the correct designs and checked over the construction of the scaffolding before any work began pouring out the concrete. These are basic parts of managing safe projects, and there is no excuse for failing to carry out such tasks.

Plan and Monitor Your Work

If you are in the construction industry you are working in one of the most hazardous industries. Health and safety services designed for the construction industry can help to reduce the hazards and ensure all jobs are carried out in a safe and efficient manner. There are a variety of services offered by health and safety consultants in the UK. Call 0800 1488 677 for more information from the experts.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Health and Safety Policy, Health and Safety Services, Workplace Safety

One Comment

  1. May 28, 2012 at 11:20 am

    so poor , truly shame for both companies they don have any rights to do again business, government should have cancel their license.

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