A Halifax demolition firm has been fined £7,500 for breaching health and safety regulations which left a worker with devastating head injuries.

In November 2008, Gareth Dodds was employed by James Hudson Demolition Ltd and was working on a demolition site in Rossington, near Doncaster.

During the demolition of a building Mr Dodds worked on the ground to move materials around. However, no safeguarding measures had been put in place to ensure the workmen on the ground remained a safe distance away from machines and their loads.

This failure resulted in Mr Dodds being struck by a 20 metre metal girder which had been moved by a hydraulic excavator.

Accident resulted in life-changing injuries

Mr Dodds suffered life-changing injuries in the workplace accident; these included extensive head injuries and fractured vertebrae.

James Hudson Demolition Ltd was fined £7,500 and ordered to pay costs of £20,000 following a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) at Doncaster Crown Court.

The firm pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Speaking after the case, Health and Safety Executive Inspector Rob Cooper said: "This appalling incident could have very easily been avoided had proper thought and planning been put in place".

Samantha Hemsley, a solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors’ Serious Injuries Team said: “This was a terrible accident to happen to such a young worker. Segregation of workers from hazards on site is a well-established industry norm, that should have happened here”.

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2011/coi-yh-1011.htm