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    CONTRACTOR FINED OVER FLOOR OPENING FALL

    Thorough risk assessment and edge protection were both inadequate

    A major UK contractor has been sentenced for safety breaches after workman fell over 4m through an unprotected opening at a residential property in Lothersdale, Keighley in April 2016.

    Leeds Magistrates heard how the worker was attaching straps to a water tank whilst preparing to move it to a lower floor of a water tower at the property, in order to paint the floor.

    Serious injuries

    HSE investigators found that the opening lacked fixed edge protection to prevent a fall. The workman sustained serious injuries including: a right tibial shaft fracture, a distal fibular fracture, a fracture to the left patella, orbital and nasal fractures, lacerations to the face, a concessional head injury, injury to his ribs and he was hospitalised for nine days.

    • Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd – Hemel Hemstead, Hertfordshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company has been fined £260,000 and ordered to pay £38,299 in costs.

    After the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Thompson commented:

    “Falls from height often result in life-changing or fatal injuries.

    In most cases, these incidents are needless and could be prevented by properly planning of the work to ensure that effective preventative and protective measures are in place such as edge protection or barriers built to the correct standard.

    This incident could have easily been prevented if the company had undertaken a thorough risk assessment and installed adequate edge protection around the opening to prevent falls.”

     

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