The Safety of your Employees Cannot Ever be Ignored

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BL Claims Solicitors specialise in personal injury, clinical negligence and travel claims, providing our clients with hands-on support, nationally.

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The Health and Safety Executive reported yesterday of an incident at work involving Jamie Ford aged 24 and his father Stephen.  They were working under the control of Alistair Copland trading as 'Do It Al' to demolish a barn near Blandford in November 2008.  No plans were in place for the demolition and neither worker was wearing essential safety equipment, namely an inexpensive and widely available hard hat.  I understand from the HSE report that Jamie was using a handtool to demolish a wall when a piece of it hit his father on the head. Stephen died of his injuries at the scene.

HSE Inspector, Helena Tinton, said that "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 a worker contributing to his own father's death - an absolutely tragic situation."

Mr Copland pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay £2,390 in compensation to the family.  I very much expect that the dependants of Mr Ford are also pursuing a claim in negligence against the firm.

I would implore all employers and their employees involved in this type of work to visit the HSE website.

Grant Evatt

Senior Solicitor - Personal Injury team 

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