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SITE MANAGER AWARE OF MISSING EDGE PROTECTION

Homebuilder prosecuted over failure to properly plan for risk 

Walker Group (Scotland) Limited has been prosecuted after labourer fractured his ribs after falling from the edge of a temporary staircase. in 2009.

David Tourish, 38, was engaged on the site of a new build house in Edinburgh, fell when was carrying doors up temporary stairs. The staircase had and there was a gap between one of the half landings and the wall. For most of the build, this gap had been protected by a guardrail, but two days before Mr Tourish’s fall, it had been removed by a joiner to allow him to fix plasterboard to the wall.

On 21 November 2009, Mr Tourish was carrying doors upstairs when he stepped off the edge of the half landing and through the gap, falling nearly 3m to the landing below. He was off work for three months while his injuries healed.

HSE investigators found the: work had not been planned properly as an adequate risk assessment had not taken place; site manager was aware the guardrail had been removed and should have known there was a risk to his team: and work was not carried out in a safe manner.

Assessment would have identified unusual design features

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court today (27 July 2011) Walker Group (Scotland) Limited pleaded guilty to breaking Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and were fined £8,000

HSE inspector Alastair Brown said:

“This was a serious incident that could have been very much worse. It was also entirely avoidable. This incident highlights the risk posed by unplanned work at height, particularly on small domestic sites when the right equipment needs to be chosen to address risks posed by design features like staircases.

Had Walker Group carried out a proper risk assessment it would have identified the unusual design feature of the staircase and ensured it remained a safe working area throughout the build process.  The company knew a guardrail had been removed leaving a gap on the stairs. It was clear this wasn’t safe and action should have been taken to ensure the gap was closed or protected to eliminate the risk of a fall.”

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2 Responses to “SITE MANAGER AWARE OF MISSING EDGE PROTECTION”

  1. STAIRCASE LANDING EDGE PROTECTION SOLUTIONS | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] home builder was prosecuted recently after a labourer fractured his ribs when he fell from the edge of a temporary […]

  2. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 5th OCTOBER 2011 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] Walker Group (Scotland) Limited – fall through void: £8,000; […]