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FALL FROM WORK PLATFORM SPANNING TOWERS

Firm fined after fall leaves workman with severe head injury

D M Specialist Limited has been fined for safety failings after a worker sustained a serious head injury when he fell from a temporary scaffolding platform in London.

Stewart Alazia, aged 51, fractured his skull and bleeding to his brain as a result of the incident at Kensington Gate on 21 December 2011. He may need indefinite treatment for depression, black outs and headaches linked to his trauma.

Westminster Magistrates heard that Mr Alazia was working to dismantle boards and other materials from a temporary platform spanning two scaffolding towers. He lost his balance and fell to the ground below, hitting his head and losing consciousness.

HSE found there was nothing in place to prevent or mitigate the fall e.g. suitable edge protection or fall arrest equipment. The court was told that had such provisions been in place then the incident could have been avoided.

Work at height must be planned, managed and supervised

D M Specialist Limited, of Pegasus Mews, Stratton Business Park, Biggleswade, Beds, was fined a total of £12,000 and ordered to pay £7,377 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Jack Wilby said:

“Mr Alazia sustained a significant head injury in the fall but it could easily have been much worse.

His continued suffering some two years on is another powerful reminder of why work at height has to be properly planned, managed and supervised, with sufficient measures in place to prevent falls.

Guidance is readily available on what provisions should be in place, and it was clear from our investigation that D M Specialist could and should have done more to protect their worker.”

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