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Inquest hears about fatal wall collapse

A safety adviser was not asked to assess the risks of walls at a Birmingham scrap yard where five workers were killed.

The BBC has reported that Michael White had provided safety advice before a 4.6m concrete wall fell at Hawkeswood Metal Recycling in Birmingham in 2016, killing five workers.

White told the inquest that in the preceding year he spent a total of 12 hours at the site.

Hawkeswood said White was responsible for risk assessments and had not raised any concerns about the concrete block wall.

But White said he had “no knowledge” of how long the wall had been there, who built it or what its purpose was.

He said: “I was never consulted by Wayne Hawkeswood or [director] Graham Woodhouse on the erection or dismantling of any wall or never asked to provide a risk assessment for such.”

Woodhouse said White was “responsible for carrying out comprehensive and accurate risk assessments of significant risks” at the site and never raised any worries about the wall.

Hawkeswood said in a statement that he “simply cannot comprehend how this happened”.

He added: “I am absolutely devastated by the deaths of the five men and constantly think about the loss their family and friends have suffered.”

The inquest continues.

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