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    INSTALLATION OF MEZZANINE FLOOR POORLY PLANNED

    Firm fined after workman topples over edge during floor plate laying

    Intercoat Industrial Paints Ltd has been fined after a workman fell some 3m during installation of a mezzanine floor at its premises in Walsall on 16 December 2011.

    Brian Sparrow, aged 56, fell from an unprotected edge, fractured two vertebrae and required a body brace to keep his back straight. He has been off work since the incident.

    HSE found that the work was not properly planned, assessed or supervised and that others were put at risk working below during the construction of the floor.

    The court heard that the floor framework was installed and work was proceeding, using a forklift truck, to place four metal plates on the framework. When two plates were being slid from the forklift they became jammed and Mr Sparrow fell when he crouched down at the edge to resolve the problem.

    Imperative that work at height is carefully thought through

    Intercoat Industrial Paints Ltd, of Walsall pleaded guilty (4 Feb) to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for failing to protect its employees. The company was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,929.

    After the hearing, HSE inspector Gardabil Singh Tiwana said:

    “This incident was entirely preventable. Falls from height are the biggest cause of death and injury in the workplace. It is imperative that work at height is carefully thought through, the risks assessed and adequate safety measures put in place to protect workers.

    Intercoat Industrial Paints Ltd failed to ensure that necessary safeguards were in place and, as a result, one man was left with painful injuries and others were put at unnecessary risk.”

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