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    TRAINEE FELL THROUGH STAIRWELL OPENING

    Aberdeenshire company fined after apprentice joiner injured in fall

    Scotia Homes (North) Limited has been fined £4k for breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 after a 17 year-old trainee fell 3m to a concrete floor.

    He fell  through an unguarded stairwell opening on a new homes development project injuring his head and legs.

    Inadequate safeguards provided to protect opening

    Stonehaven Sheriff Court heard that a plywood sheet was placed over the stairwell entrance but there was no edge protection or guards in place to prevent employees from falling through the open stairwell.

    Investigating HSE Inspector Alan MacKinnon said:

    “This incident could have been avoided. The fall protection measure in place was completely inadequate as a means of preventing anyone falling from height.

    “Construction is one of Scotland’s most dangerous industries. During 2008/09 alone 10 people died and 1,423 were injured in Scotland while working in construction.

    “Last year there were four fatalities and 1094 injuries caused by falls from height in the workplace.

    “Risks from working at height are entirely preventable. Employers working at height need to ensure that risks are fully assessed and that open edged areas of work are suitably guarded.”

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