Mike Neesam & Son Ltd prosecuted after Hall Hill Farm wall collapse led to the death builder Steven Ratcliffe
follow site A North East based company Mike Neesam & Son Limited has been fined after a wall collapsed, leading to the death of 43-year old Steven Brian Ratcliffe from Spennymoor.
Peterlee Magistrates’ Court heard how Mr Radcliffe, an employee of Mike Neesam & Son, had been working on a toilet refurbishment project on Hall Hill Farm County Durham, when he attempted to walk out of a shallow trench. He was struck and crushed by a collapsing wall weighing approximately 2.2 tonnes.
Mr Ratcliffe suffered head and chest injuries when the wall fell on top of him on September 14, 2015. He was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle but died as result of crush injuries the same day.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the circumstances of this tragic incident found the company failed to take the appropriate measures to prevent structures from collapsing; it was found the wall in question was left unsupported at the time of the incident and put employees at risk of harm.
Mike Neesam & Son Limited of Coundon Industrial Estate, Bishop Auckland pleaded guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5928.28. A victim surcharge of £120 was also ordered.
go Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew Woodhall said:
“The company failed to identify the risks associated with free standing walls and as a result this ultimately cost Mr Ratcliffe his life.
“This tragic case should act as a reminder to all duty holders that appropriate safety measures need to be taken to protect employees at all times.”
go Main Image: Jonathan Neesam and Mike Neelam leaving Peterlee Magistrates’ Court
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