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Builder admits risking son's safety

A builder risked the life of his son and other employees while they worked to demolish an old pub in Lincoln, a court has heard.

Ivan Pope, trading as Westwise Demolition, was found to have exposed workmen to the risk of falling.

He was prosecuted after two men were seen on the roof of the former Manvers Arms pub on Monks Road working from the “upturned bucket of an excavator”.

Leicester Crown Court heard they were required to remove the roof tiles from the two-storey building.

The defendant’s son stood in the excavator bucket level with the roof’s edge. Another worker on the roof then passed the removed tiles to him.

When the bucket was full Mr Pope jnr climbed onto the roof so the bucket could be lowered and emptied. This process was then repeated.

The court heard that a lack of scaffolding put the workers at risk from falling and that those working below were not protected from falling tiles.

Mr Pope, of Wisbech, Cambs pleaded guilty to failing to ensure people were not exposed to risks to their safety. He was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay costs of more than £13,000.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Martin Giles said: “This was foolhardy to say the least and could so easily have resulted in serious injury or even death. It is particularly disturbing that Mr Pope was willing to risk the life of his own son by failing to put such basic safety requirements in place.

“Working at height remains one of the greatest dangers to construction workers. Many incidents can be avoided if contractors identify a safe way of tackling a job, provide all necessary protective equipment and ensure that workers, sub-contractors or casual employees are fully trained and properly supervised.

“Demolition must be properly planned and, in this case, providing adequate scaffolding or a proper mobile elevating work platform would have allowed this work to be done safely.”

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