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    FIRMS FINED AFTER FATAL FALL AT STORE

    Working from unsafe position on canopy ends in tragedy

    A national construction firm and a glazing contractor have been fined for safety breaches after a workman fell to his death from an Exeter store front canopy in November 2011.

    Philip Evans, from Glamorgan, was undertaking repair work to a façade above the department store entrance and was working from the glass canopy and not from the mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) provided.

    Exeter Crown Court heard that during the course of the work he walked along the canopy and fell 4.m through an opening to the granite floor below. He received serious injuries as a result of the fall and died later in hospital. The opening had been created during previous work when a pane of glass was removed from the canopy and had not been replaced.

    Should not have left safety of MEWP

    HSE investigators told the court that the MEWP was inadequate for the work being carried out. The canopy was not a safe working platform in view of the unprotected edge and opening through which he fell. The court was also told neither of the two workers should have left the safety of the MEWP.

    Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd of London pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of HSWA 1974. The company was fined £200,000 with £17, 790 costs

    London Fenestration Trades Ltd of Cardiff pleaded guilty Section 2 (1) HSWA 1974.  The firm is in liquidation and the court imposed a “notionally” fine it £200,000 with £17,790 costs.

    HSE inspector Jonathan Harris said:

    “The risks associated with work at height are very well known and recognised in readily available guidance. Planning and effective coordination between contractors is a requirement of the relevant safety regulations. Without such planning and sufficient assessment of risk, it is foreseeable that working at height will expose operatives to risks to their safety.

    In this case Mr Evans was working from an unsafe position which exposed him to the potential of falling from the edge of the glass canopy as well as the opening through which he tragically fell.

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