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Shock...Horror...Builder buried alive....

(20 Posts)
KatieMac Thu 03-Feb-05 19:31:21

in my new conservatory foundations.

Fortunatley he is OK.....but I was shit scared. I think he was too

They have had to dig down nearly 7 ft 'cos of a drain that no-one noticed and the sides caved in

I'm really upset by this but DH is all..well if he was doing his job properly there would have been no danger....WHICH I DONT AGREE WITH AT ALL

I'm so & & ed

And on a less important note it means more money...probably

beansprout Thu 03-Feb-05 19:33:58

OMG - is everyone ok?!

KatieMac Thu 03-Feb-05 19:36:21

Yep he was a bit muddy and shocked but really worried about how much it was going to cost us...cos it all needs to be redug (and as he says he will have to redig it)

gothicmama Thu 03-Feb-05 19:36:38

OMG construction trade is one of teh most dangerous however safely they work there is always a huge potential for accidents- Dh is a builder I worry most of the time although so far all his mis haps have had amusing bits to them hope he is ok

bundle Thu 03-Feb-05 19:38:45

shouldn't he have put in supports? sounds awfully deep

Whizzz Thu 03-Feb-05 19:42:39

Oh dear - agree with your DH. Yes excavations that deep should have supports & if they were digging the hold, they should take into account what the soil was like & how far down they were digging. It shouldn't cost you any extra surely - its the builders fault by the sounds of it

KatieMac Thu 03-Feb-05 20:17:48

Should I have known that they needed supports?

Am I at fault......

SofiaAmes Thu 03-Feb-05 22:11:01

No you should not have known about the supports, they should have. But the reality is that builders make so little (despite what everyone thinks), that they have to cut corners in order to make a living wage. My dh is a builder. He's gone back to school so that he can do something else with his life. He too injured himself really badly a few months ago (chopped his arm with a chop saw and had 50 stitches) because he didn't take the proper safety precautions. I don't see why you shouldn't feel sorry for the builder...your dh is just being male. Extra digging time for redigging collapsed hole shouldn't be your cost, but extra digging time for unforseen drain would probably end up being your cost.

gingerbear Thu 03-Feb-05 22:26:45

my brother is also a builder, and I see him taking such risks sometimes it makes my blood run cold.
Where I work, you cannot fart without doing a risk assessment. I audit 'permits to work' for contractors as part of my job. When we had our house extension last year the builders must have dreaded seeing me - I tried to keep out of their way but I double checked everything they did.

Deep excavations should always be supported. Thank the Lord he was OK. If it had happened at eork there would have been a HSE investigation. Bet he wont do that again!

gingerbear Thu 03-Feb-05 22:27:29


ChicPea Thu 03-Feb-05 22:58:56

When our builder dug the foundations of our extention, we had to have concrete supports called piling (?) so while he dug, the pilers (?) ran in the concrete and this was all under the beady eye of the Council's Building inspector. Doesn't everybody do this? (Hope I have made sense.)
PS All self-employed contractors are responsible for their own health and safety. They are offering a professional service on your premises and using their own commonsense and precautions are implied.

tabitha Thu 03-Feb-05 23:39:18


it's not your fault at all. As an ordinary householder, you are not expected to have health and safety knowledge, in the way that, say a business organising building work would be expected to have.
Your husband, and others, are right in that there certainly should have been less (althouth not no) danger if the builder had been carrying out his job properly. There is loads of guidance on the subject, such as this from the HSE. But as SofiaAmes says, builders often cut corners to make a decent wage.
By all means feel sorry for him but don't feel guilty. Oh, and I don't think you should have to pay extra because of their errors. If they get nasty about money, you could always threaten to report them to the HSE, which might frighten them a bit.

Whizzz Fri 04-Feb-05 19:00:19

No KatieMac - you shouldn't have know - the builders should have the experience & knowledge to know whats necessary.
Gingerbear - loved your comments - sounds like we have the same sort of job!

KatieMac Fri 04-Feb-05 19:17:54

I'm a bit calmer now....but the same builder hit his finger with a lump hammer and broke it today

I must be jinxed

KatieMac Fri 04-Feb-05 19:18:29

his finger that is not the hammer

Whizzz Fri 04-Feb-05 19:18:35

No Katie HE is just unsafe !

SofiaAmes Fri 04-Feb-05 20:10:45

Sorry, now you have got me laughing...poor guy. That's just plain old bad luck. Maybe he's having a hard time at home and is a little distracted at the moment. Or could he be doing drugs? Knew a builder who was constantly having accidents as he was stoned all the time and would do silly things like try to unstick a a disk grinder while it was still plugged in. Funniest was watching him put up a curtain rod with grip fill instead of screws and then when he put the curtain on it it fell on his head.

ks Fri 04-Feb-05 20:22:44

Message withdrawn

lowcalCOD Fri 04-Feb-05 20:26:45


KatieMac Sat 05-Feb-05 08:28:52

My big problem is that I'm now dreaming about this hole thing.

On Thursday night all the childminded children (that I've ever had) were sitting at the bottem of the hole building sandcastles and my friend drove down a slope (that doesn't exist) round the corner in the trench and parked next to the house (it's barely 2 ft wide)

Last night we had to get out of it (slope had gone) before the concrete was being poured.

I do wonder about my dreams???

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