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An inquest into a fatal construction accident in East Anglia three years ago has heard that the four men who died were not wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).

The jury, which has been convened to look at the 2011 collapse of a steel structure, also heard that the reinforcing frame collapsed like a foldaway table.

The incident took place when a test facility was being built at the Great Yarmouth site of Claxton Engineering on January 21 2011.

Four men, Adam Taylor (28), Peter Johnson (42) and brothers Daniel (30) and Thomas (26) Hazelton, died. They were constructing a steel reinforcing cage, working on the pilings within a seven foot hole, when the collapse happened.

All men were found to have died of trauma-triggered asphyxia in a post-mortem.

Addressing the jury, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigator Jonathan Elvin said that the 39 tonne steel frame toppled over:

"collapsing like a folding picnic table".

All men were employed by Hazegood Construction, where Daniel Hazleton was a director.

Giving evidence, the procurement manager for Claxton Engineering, Mark Aylen, said that the men had not been wearing hard hats or safety glasses.

Aylen went on to say that he had also seen Daniel Hazleton squeezing himself between the reinforcing bars, stating that Hazleton had told him it was the only way the job could be completed.

Aylen continued to explain that he had queried these choices.

The case, which is brought by the HSE, continues.

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