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PRINCIPAL CONTRACTORS MUST PROTECT ALL ON SITE

PC prosecuted after kitchen unit delivery man falls 6m down lift shaft 

Brighton Construction Ltd has been ordered to pay £40,000 in fines and prosecution costs after a man delivering kitchen units fell 6m down a lift shaft.

David Homewood, 53, from Eastbourne, was delivering a kitchen unit to a new block of luxury flats in Brighton, when the incident happened on 3 November 2009.

He was walking backwards upstairs carrying a unit with a colleague. At the second floor landing he stepped over a pack of insulation and fell into an unguarded lift shaft.

He fractured spine, pelvis and bruised his lungs. His walking is now impaired and he has been unable to return to work since the incident. HSE prosecuted principle contractor Brighton Construction Ltd for failing to manage the construction site properly.

Firm failed to act on previous advice

The court heard that HSE had given advice to Brighton Construction Ltd during an inspection five months before the incident and the company informed in writing that any openings in floors should be protected with guardrails.

Brighton Construction Ltd, of Millers Road, Brighton, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. It was fined a total of £25,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,000.

Amanda Huff, HSE Inspector, said:

“As principal contractors, Brighton Construction Ltd was responsible for the safety of everyone on the site, including suppliers. Erecting guardrails across the lift shaft would have been easy and shows that simple precautions could have prevented this needless incident.

“Mr Homewood has suffered life-changing injuries because simple measures were not taken to ensure the lift shaft was guarded at all times.”

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