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SHAFT FALL DURING FALSEWORK DISMANTLING

Migrant worker survived 13m fall into service riser shaft

David Ashley Construction Limited, from Derbyshire has been fined £20k after a workman fell 13m into a service riser shaft in June 2015.

Leicester Magistrates’ Court heard how a 36-year-old Romanian Pavel Gurgu was dismantling falsework in the building that was under construction at Fletcher Development, De Montfort University, Leicester.

HSE told the court that investigators that there was an “unsafe system of work and inadequate supervision of workers”.

David Ashley Construction Limited, of Lydford Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,776.

Exceptionally lucky man

The Derby Telegraph has reported that Roy Poulter for HSE said:

“Mr Grugu is an exceptionally lucky man. A fall such as this almost always results in a fatality. He smashed his upper arm, suffered cuts and bruising, was attended by five surgeons and it is still unknown whether he will recuperate from his injuries.”

Mr Poulter is also reported to have told the court that the company received warnings about the particular work being carried out following a similar accident in Sheffield three months earlier.

On the day of his accident Mr Gurgu left the area where he was working to go to a higher part of the site to see his brother. He found a broom and began sweeping up debris which had collected on top of the hardwood over the service shaft. The wood gave way and he fell to the ground.

James Puzey for the company told the court that the managing director was “deeply upset about the injury”. Mr Puzey added that the company took the safety of its workers extremely seriously including site-specific risk assessments and daily briefings.

Magistrates chairman David Simpson commended the company for its full co-operation and early guilty plea to the charge adding:

“The only aggravating feature is a previous warning in 2014 where no action was taken.”

 

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