Construction companies fined £46,000 after working platform fails

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Two construction companies have been fined £46,000 after a bricklayer was injured when a working platform failed

Durham Crown Court heard how, on 1 July 2019, Dere Street Homes Limited was acting as principal contractor and provided components for a proprietary polypropylene working platform at a new build at Marley Fields in County Durham.

SGS Construction & Design Limited was acting as a contractor and supplied workers to erect the working platform.

HSE investigation

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that a number of components were missing from the working platform.

Although previously workers supplied by SGS were formally trained in the erection of the components to form a safe working platform, the worker who erected the failed platform had not received adequate training.

The signing off as a safe working platform had earlier been undertaken by a site manager working for Dere Street Homes. When this manager left, a number of months prior to the incident, the inspection and signing off of the platform was no longer undertaken.

Dere Street Homes pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations and was fined £38,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,367.30.

SGS Construction & pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15(2) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations and was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,683.60.

After the hearing, HSE principal inspector Rob Hirst, said: “Although the worker did not suffer life-changing injuries, there was a potential for more serious injury.

“Those in control of work have a responsibility to ensure that workers are adequately trained, properly supervised, and work activities are appropriately monitored.”

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