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WORK EXPERIENCE ACCIDENT HIGHLIGHTS ASSESSMENT DUTY

Building firm prosecuted after schoolboy injured during work experience

A builder has been fined after a schoolboy on work experience fell 2.4 metres from a ladder. The 15-year-old was one of two students completing a work experience placement with Alan Fleischer Builders Ltd in March 2010.

The project involved conversion of a first floor restaurant into flats and building of upper floor extension. He was working on the third floor which was only accessible by ladder. Whilst decending a ladder holding a bucket he fell 2.4metres to the floor below. He went to hospital and was diaognosed with bruising.

Sheffield Magistrates heard that the school work placement organisation carried out a safety assessment on firm but this did not take place on the site where the incident happened. The work placement assessment allowed students to carry out general labouring duties but they were not expected to work at height.

After the incident, students were stopped from returning to the site and all future placements to the company were suspended.

Special considerations for young people

Alan Fleischer Builders Ltd, of Dinnington, was fined £1,500 with £1,320 in costs after pleading guilty to a charge of failing to ensure the safety of its employees.

HSE Inspector Medani Close said:

“Construction sites can be dangerous places to work. Because of inexperience, young people need special consideration to protect them from risks, particularly those present when working at height, which are well-known in the industry. The employers’ risk assessment should have taken all this into account.

This young student was lucky not to have suffered worse injuries from his fall. If the defendants had planned the project better, the stairs would have been installed at an early stage and workers would not have needed to use a ladder at all.”

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