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    FLOOR CONSTRUCTION SYSTEM OF WORK UNSAFE

    Welder fell 3m from mezzanine area through purlin openings

    An agricultural engineering sole trader has been sentenced after a workman sustained serious, life changing injuries when he fell from a mezzanine floor under construction in March 2017.

    Plymouth Crown Court heard how RJS Agricultural Welding was contracted to install the mezzanine floor in a unit at the South Hams Business Park in Totnes.

    Derek Mortimore was engaged to help with the floor construction and was working on the mezzanine floor whilst it was still being constructed.

    Mr Mortimore fell some 3m through a gap between the floor purlins to the concrete floor below. He suffered serious head injuries and remained in hospital for many months after the fall to undergo neurological rehabilitation.

    Insufficient measures to prevent falls

    HSE found that the employer failed in his duty to ensure the health and safety of his employees and others whilst at work.

    Insufficient measures were taken to prevent a fall through the mezzanine floor while under construction.

    • RJS Agricultural Welding (Russell Soper T/A) – of Diptford, Totnes pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay costs of £6,132 and a victim surcharge of £170.

    Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Allison George said:

    “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work related fatalities and injuries in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well-known.

    Mr Mortimore’s injuries were life changing for both him and his family. He could have easily been killed. This serious incident and devastation could have been avoided if basic safe guards had been put in place.”

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