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Building firm fined after passer-by hit by falling equipment

A Hertfordshire building company has been fined for injuring a woman as she waited for a bus.

Concentra Ltd., based in Waltham Cross, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after inspectors found that the incident on 26 September 2008 was preventable.

Westminster Magistrates' Court heard how a member of the public was waiting for a bus on York Road, London, when she was hit by a piece of machinery being lifted to the fifth floor of a nearby office block.

The woman suffered severe multiple injuries including several broken bones and cuts and swelling to her head. She was in hospital for eight days and the injuries have affected her work and studies.

The building was being refurbished and instead of traditional scaffolding being used on the site, a mast climber had been erected, which allowed workers to be raised and lowered on the outside of the building.

The HSE investigation found that a crane and lifting slings were being used to lift a 380kg, 0.6m square by 2m high, air handling unit. The crane was not fitted correctly and during the lift, the unit hit a mast climber and was knocked out of its sling causing it to fall from height and hit the member of the public.

Concentra Ltd. of High Street, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, EN8 7D, were found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 in relation to the incident. The firm was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £21,000.


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