Demolition firm fined after worker hit by masonry

A demolition contractor has been fined £60,000 after a labourer was hit by masonry in an incident that left him “lucky to be alive”.

MAC Demolition, the firm contracted to carry out the works, was fined over the incident, which took place in Kilburn, north-west London, last year.

The west-London company had been contracted to carry out soft stripping works on the Victorian property on Willesden Lane (pictured), as well as the demolition of its roof.

According to a statement from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 57-year-old Tommy Brooks had been employed as a labourer for three months before the incident. In March 2022, he was told to clear bricks for reclamation and was working at the corner of the building when a large piece of masonry fell from its unstable roof, landing on top of him.

Brooks was left with a broken shoulder and 12 broken ribs, as well as spinal and internal injuries. The injuries were described as “significant and long term” by the HSE.

HSE investigators found MAC Demolition had failed to adequately assess the risk of falling objects during demolition, and failed to implement and enforce adequate exclusion zones.

MAC Demolition Ltd, of Greenford, west London, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 20 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

The company was fined £60,000 and ordered to pay £3,229 in costs at Willesden Magistrates’ Court.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Gordon Nixon said: “Tommy’s injuries were life-changing and he is lucky to be alive.

“This serious incident and the devastation it caused could have been avoided if basic, industry-standard control measures had been put in place. Companies need [to] be aware that we will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

The HSE also drew attention to the safe-demolition guidance available on its website.

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