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PROSECUTION FOLLOWS FAILURE TO TRAIN MANAGER

Leg amputated after floor collapse and fall on poorly supervised refurb site

Howper 291 Ltd, of Hammersmith in London, has been prosecuted after a workman had his leg amputated following a fall at a property in West London in November 2007. The company was refurbishing a domestic mews property in South Kensington.

Lukasz Taborek, 23, from Ealing was working on the first floor when he fell 4m after the floor collapsed. He was ‘pinned down’ by falling material crushing his foot so severely such that his lower right leg was eventually amputated.

The first floor was incorrectly built by sub-contractors, who had left the site a month prior to the incident. Concerns regarding the general safety and tidiness on site had also been raised on more than one occasion by the architect.

HSE investigators found that the company (formerly known as Urang Ltd) was contracted to manage the refurbishment but assigned a project manager with no health and safety training.

Manager lacked construction safety training

Magistrates heard that the project manager visited the site for two hours every other day. She failed to supervise adequately and was not trained and competent to manage construction safety. In addition, her managerial experienced was not in construction work.

Howper 291 Ltd, of New Kings Road, Hammersmith in London, pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety etc. at Work Act 1974 at the City of London Magistrates’ Court. The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £4,172.

HSE’s inspector Peter Collingwood said:

“This incident was entirely preventable. Had there been adequate management and supervision of the site, this terrible incident could have been avoided.

“This highlights the need for competent supervision to be present on site, so that any significant risks can be managed and controlled effectively.”

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