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Contractor fined after wall collapses on worker

A construction company in Leigh has been fined £8,000 after one of its workers was seriously injured when a wall collapsed on him in Wigan.

Hughes Brothers Building & Joinery, which was also ordered to pay £3,517 in costs, was prosecuted following the incident at its site on Millers Lane, in Platt Bridge, in July last year.

Trafford Magistrates Court heard the worker, Scott Hutchinson of Golborne, was helping demolish offices when a wall collapsed on him. He suffered multiple injuries including fractures to his left leg, collar bone and arm, and injuries to the vertebrae in his upper and lower back. He is yet to return to work, the Health and Safety Executive said.

HSE inspector Tom Merry said: “This employee was seriously injured because the company failed to manage the demolition of the building properly.

“The risk assessment that the company produced did not fully indentify the dangers workers would face. A Hughes Brothers manager briefly told his employees what he wanted, but failed to stay on the site to check his instructions were followed.

“More shockingly, only one of the workers had previous experience of demolition work but he did not stay on the site the whole time. The others had neither the experience nor qualifications needed to demolish buildings.

“This incident demonstrates how important it is for companies to take health and safety seriously, rather than just hoping for the best.”

Hughes Brothers had pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act.