Construction Firm Has Been Fined £100,000 After Five Workers Were Injured When A Roof Collapsed
A Midlands-based construction company has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay more than £106,000 in costs after five workers were seriously injured in an occupational accident.
Adstone Construction of Droitwich pleaded guilty to safety failings which resulted in a roof canopy weighing more than 40 tonnes falling to the ground.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Andrew Bowker said the incident had "enormous potential for loss of life".
Although nobody was killed, five workers were badly hurt, with one of them being airlifted to hospital.
All five of the employees suffered major injuries ranging from broken vertebrae and suspected fractured ribs to head injuries and internal bruising.
The accident happened at Abraham Darby Academy in Madeley, Telford on August 25th 2011.
An investigation by the HSE found key pieces of the framework needed to support the heavy canopy had not been welded together properly.
This meant that as the roofers continued to add weight to the structure, the steelwork was put under unsustainable pressure.
The men fell a distance of 13 metres to the ground, causing a huge amount of damage to the new school in the process.
Falls from height are still the most common cause of accident in the UK - particularly in the building industry.
HSE figures show the construction sector accounts for just five per cent of the overall British workforce, yet is responsible for 27 per cent of fatal incidents.
Following the hearing at Shrewsbury Crown Court, Mr Bowker said it was a miracle that nobody was more severely hurt.
"Other construction workers had been working directly under the school canopy for most of the day installing windows in the new school. Fortunately they were not under the canopy when it collapsed," he commented.
"Adstone Construction fabricated the steelwork for the canopy and failed to ensure that critical welds within the design of the steel truss were completed to the required specification and size."