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STEEPLEJACK DIED PREPARING FOR ABSEILING WORK

Fatal fall and uncontrolled abseiling decent leads to contractor prosecution

Central (High Rise) Ltd of Sneinton, Nottingham, has been ordered to pay £130,000 after a workman died and another was injured in two separate falls.

Brian Collins, aged 52, from Mansfield, was setting up abseiling equipment to paint a chimney with two other workers at Sutton Bridge Power Station when he fell through an open grating in a platform on 13 March 2008. He fell 34m and died at the scene.

In a separate incident, on 14 August 2009, two workmen were performing maintenance on rocks below Nottingham Castle. The men abseilled down using the wrong equipment causing one to experience an uncontrolled descent, falling some 10m to the ground and breaking a bone in his back.

Leicester Crown Court heard the company had failed to make sure the work at both locations was carried out safely putting several employees at serious risk. At the castle project the work was not properly supervised whilst at the power station, the company failed to make a proper assessment of the risks and to manage and monitor the work.

Rigging of the ropes unsafe

Central (High Rise) Ltd pleaded guilty to one charge in relation to the death of Mr Collins and one charge in relation to the incident at Nottingham Castle. As well as the fine, the company was ordered to pay £32,000 costs.

HSE inspector Martin Giles said:

“The work at the power station required careful planning and assessment of the risks involved. Tragically, the company failed to make sure the rigging of the ropes was done safely and the result was the needless death of an employee.

At Nottingham Castle, the two men should not have been allowed to abseil with the ropes they used, but Central failed in its duty to properly supervise the work to make sure it was carried out safely. Luckily the injured man has since made a full recovery but his injuries could easily have been much worse.

Falls from height are the biggest cause 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 the risks.”

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One Response to “STEEPLEJACK DIED PREPARING FOR ABSEILING WORK”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 20th JULY 2011 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] Central (High Rise) Ltd – fatal fall through gantry: £65,000 […]