Be careful if you design or build walls .....

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A company Director is being prosecuted after he designed a wall, and his company built the wall, which subsequently fell over and killed a child.

It's interesting that the prosecution is under H&S law (the Health and Safety at Work Act) rather than other legislation

A very sad situation for the child and family, but I wonder just how badly designed and built the wall was?

Telegraph news item

and

Statement from CPS

"Company director to face manslaughter charge for death of Meg Burgess

We have decided that George Collier should be charged with gross negligence manslaughter in relation to the death of Meg Burgess on 26 July 2008 in Prestatyn, Wales.

Meg Burgess, aged three, was killed when a wall designed by Mr Collier and constructed by his company, Parcol Developments Limited, collapsed on to a public footpath in Ffordd Penrhwyfla.

Rosemary Ainslie, reviewing lawyer for the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said:

“I have carefully reviewed all of the evidence gathered by North Wales Police and the Health and Safety Executive during their thorough investigation into the tragic death of Meg Burgess in July 2008.

“After considering reports from experts on construction standards and advice from counsel, I have decided that George Collier should be charged with gross negligence manslaughter for his role in designing and constructing the wall that collapsed. Mr Collier has been summonsed to appear at Prestatyn Magistrates’ Court on 3 October 2011.

“I have also decided that Parcol Developments Limited, of which Mr Collier was a director, should be charged with an offence under Section 3 of the Health and Safety Act at Work 1974. Section 3 requires all employers to conduct their business in a way that ensures, so far as is reasonably practicable, that others are not exposed to risk.

“I did consider whether Parcol Developments should also be charged with corporate manslaughter. There is sufficient evidence to prosecute the company for this offence, but it would not be in the public interest to do so. The company had only two directors and Mr Collier was the only one directly involved in this incident. The charge against him is sufficiently serious to address the alleged offending.”

Edit

Via google/daily mail site

article-1038787-02148A4100000578-586_468x583.jpg
 
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Vary sad indeed.
It's clear looking at the image, concrete and steel should have been used and not pre historic block building methods.

I know a site though with a 6.6m tall retaining (concrete and maybe some steel) wall by about 100m long behind a dozen or so houses and its leaning and hair cracked. It filled to the top on the back side.

Most of the houses are lying empty though since the credit crunch.
Maybe one or two sold and people occupying them.
It would be cheaper to flatten the houses and lower the wall to a safe level.
 
Vary sad indeed.
It's clear looking at the image, concrete and steel should have been used and not pre historic block building methods.
Sad indeed but a blockwork retaining wall if designed properly is perfectly acceptable. Designing by an SE or similar competent person is the key. Sickens me the arrogant muppets on here who have a stab at their 5 or 6 foot behemoths without getting them designed!

Edited to keep Little Miss Pedantic happy!
 
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I don't agree that only an SE should be designing walls etc, but whoever does so must be competent and experienced.

I am more interested in how the prosecution is under the HSAW Act .... as this tends to protect workers not the general public. And there is a big difference between just being negligent in any design work and being criminally negligent. Obviously the CPS thinks there to be a case, and the details will come out in the trial
 

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