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STEEPLEJACK FALL FROM CHURCH BELL CHAMBER

Rotten boards failed and workman survived fall of over 6m 

The Cedars Steeplejack (Midlands) Ltd has been ordered to pay over £10k in fines and prosecution costs after a workman survived a 6m fall from a church bell chamber.

The workman suffered five cracked vertebra, a broken pelvis and serious internal injuries  when he fell whilst cleaning the bell chamber at The Church of St Peter, Lenton in Lincolnshire in August 2008. He has been unable to work since the incident.

Two workers accessed the bell tower via the staircase and set out scaffolding boards as a place of work. The boards were laid on rotten floor boards which gave way and one man fell to the floor below.

Wrong equipment selected and checks not made

Grantham Magistrates’ Court heard that the company did not adequately assess the risks from the work in the bell chamber and did not select the right equipment to ensure it could be done safely.

HSE Inspector Martin Giles said:

“The work in the bell chamber required proper planning as it was a difficult area to work in. Unfortunately, the system of work was unsafe and no one had properly checked the condition of the rotten floor boards before work began.

“This worker was extremely lucky to survive such a fall – but as a result he’s been left with long term injuries and unable to work.

“Falls from height are the biggest causes of workplace deaths and it’s crucial that employers make sure work is properly planned, appropriately supervised and that sufficient measures are put in place to protect staff from these risks.”

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One Response to “STEEPLEJACK FALL FROM CHURCH BELL CHAMBER”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 22nd SEPT 2010 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] fall through fragile floor boards (£6.6k) […]