Building labourer Tommy Brooks was “lucky to be alive” after part of this old Victorian building he was working at collapsed on him.

The 57-year-old was left with life-changing injuries by the accident during demolition work in Kilburn.

Evidence photographed by health and safety officers after the accident in Willesden Lane shows brickwork and piles of rubble on the ground where Tommy was injured.

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Tommy’s job clearing bricks for reclamation was in a dangerous part of the site where there was no safety exclusion barrier.

A large piece of masonry fell from the unstable roof, landing on top of him.

The company he worked for, MAC Demolition, was contracted to carry out stripping works on the three-storey property as well as demolish the roof.

Brent & Kilburn Times: Demolition site in Willesden Lane where worker was badly injured

But it failed to enforce adequate exclusion safety zones, Willesden magistrates heard on Thursday (November 2).

Tommy was left with a broken shoulder and 12 broken ribs, as well as spinal and internal injuries in the accident in March last year.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found the company had failed to adequately assess the risk of falling objects during demolition and failed to set up adequate exclusion zones.

“Tommy’s injuries were life changing and he is lucky to be alive,” safety inspector Gordon Nixon said after the court hearing. “This serious incident and the devastation it caused could have been avoided if basic industry-standard control measures had been put in place.”

The inspector warned: “We will not hesitate to take action against those that fall below the required standards.”

The MAC Demolition company, based in Greenford in west London, pleaded guilty to breaching design and management regulations and was fined £60,000. It was also ordered to pay £3,229 costs.

Tommy, a labourer from Woolwich in south-east London, had been employed on the site for three months before the accident. 

Safety guidelines warn against workers as well as passers-by being injured by flying debris from “premature and uncontrolled collapse” of buildings.

Exclusion zones and hard-hat areas are suggested, with barriers, hoardings or covered walkways if necessary, and using high-reach machines with reinforced cabs so that drivers are also not injured.