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BUILDER AND DIRECTOR PROSECUTED AFTER 7M FALL

Property was being constructed without scaffold or any fall prevention

Preseli Construction & Maintenance Ltd and a director have been prosecuted after a labourer suffered serious injuries when he fell 7m during construction a large domestic property in Saundersfoot, Wales in March 2010.

Haverfordwest Magistrates heard that the workman was instructed to remove a concrete block placed across a doorway. He proceeded to throw the block and fell backwards to a balcony and 7m to the ground below. The injured man spent six days in hospital and underwent surgery. He remains in constant pain, has difficulty walking and has been unable to continue work in the construction industry.

HSE investigators found that the three-storey house was being “built without scaffold or any form of fall prevention”.

High risk work was being conducted in an unsafe manner

Preseli Construction & Maintenance Ltd of Pembroke Dock pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,376.

Director Mr Christopher Newell of Tenby was prosecuted for the same offence by virtue of HSW Act Section 37(1) and was fined £4,000, with costs of £2,376. Mr Newell is also disqualified from acting as a company director, managing or in any way controlling a company for at least two years.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Anne-Marie Orrells said:

“Falls from height are the single biggest cause of fatalities in the construction industry. If work is carried out at height then all appropriate measures should be put in place to reduce the risk of falling.

Mr Kraus is still a young man who’s life has been turned upside down after receiving significant long-term injuries in this incident. He is no longer able to do any of the simplest things that many people take for granted, like playing with his children or going for a walk in the countryside with his partner.

This is a typical example of high risk work being conducted in an unsafe manner. Had scaffolding been put in place, this incident could so easily have been prevented.”

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