Work on £15.8m Liverpool John Moores University arts building halted after workers fall 30ft

Police closed a Wates site in Liverpool last week after scaffolding collapsed and injured seven workers.

The employees of trade contractor MPB Structures were working on an art and design academy at Liverpool John Moores University last Wednesday evening when scaffolding supporting a reinforced concrete slab and beam buckled.

It is believed one of the workers suffered spine and rib injuries, and the other six received minor injuries after falling 30ft. All seven were admitted to Liverpool Royal Infirmary.

Police immediately cordoned off the site, large parts of which remained closed this week. The area around the collapse will remain sealed off until the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has completed its mandatory investigation, although Wates said it did not know how long this was likely to take.

The £15.8m scheme, designed by Rick Mather Architects, is expected to open next year.

The accident comes after two workers were killed and another seriously injured in a series of construction accidents last week, around the same time as work and pensions secretary Peter Hain chaired a summit aimed at improving the industry’s safety record.

Dave Smith, the managing director of Wates Construction, said: “The safety of people on site is always our highest priority and we will work alongside the HSE, our trade contractor and client to ensure that we reach a satisfactory conclusion and share any learnings across our group before work recommences.”

Liverpool has been blighted by a series of construction accidents this year. In January a man was killed when a crane crashed into a David McLean site in the city centre, and in March a welder died after a steel girder fell from a crane at a Stackright Building Systems site. A third man died in April when a crane overturned at Wavertree Technology Park.