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Company fined after worker suffers injuries in fall from height

A construction company has been sentenced for safety breaches after a teenage worker fell three metres to the ground.

13 January 2020

The court heard that the 18-year-old worker fell when he and a colleague were installing a block and beam floor by lifting large concrete beams from a telehandler and placing them onto the first-floor steels at the construction site. Whilst manoeuvring the large, heavy beams the worker slipped and fell to the ground sustaining a fractured pelvis and bruising.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the workers were not provided with any instructions as to how to carry out the work safely. No scaffolding or other work platform had been provided on site to allow them to access first floor height. The workers therefore used some scaffold boards laid across the first-floor steels in order to provide a makeshift work platform to carry out this work. The scaffold boards were not secured in place and did not fill the necessary area. There was therefore a drop of around three metres down to the ground on all sides of the boards.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £1,314 in costs.

A representative of the HSE said: “Falls from height often result in life-changing or fatal injuries. In most cases, these incidents are needless and could be prevented by properly planning the work to ensure that effective preventative and protective measures are in place.

“Appropriate supervision of the work by the company would also have prevented this unsafe system of work from being adopted.”

If you require any further assistance or guidance on working at heights, please get in touch.

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