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    TEENAGER FELL 3M DURING BLOCK AND BEAM WORK

    Workers uninstructed and left to devise own safe system of work

    A construction business has been sentenced for safety breaches after a teenage worker fell 3m to the ground on a project in South Killingholme, Immingham on 8th May 2019.

    Grimsby Magistrates heard that the 18-year-old worker and a colleague were installing a block and beam floor by lifting large concrete beams from a telehandler and placing them onto the first-floor steel structure.  Whilst manoeuvring the large, heavy beams the worker slipped and fell to the ground sustaining a fractured pelvis and bruising.

    HSE investigators found that those involved not been provided with instructions as to how to carry out this work safely. Scaffolding or other safe work platforms were not provided to allow them to access first floor height.

    Fall protection was inadequate

    Scaffold boards laid across the first-floor steels were used as a “makeshift work platform”.

    These scaffold boards were not secured in place and a fall of some 3m existed on all sides of the boards and in these circumstances a temporary crash deck or ‘birdcage scaffold’ should have been in place.

    • LJM Building Services Ltd – of Victoria Road, Barnetby pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £1,314 in costs.

    After the hearing, HSE inspector Jennifer Elsgood commented:

    “LJM Building Services Ltd did not have an established safe system of work, meaning that the workers had to devise their own system using the limited resources available.

    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 the work to ensure that effective preventative and protective measures are in place.

    Appropriate supervision of the work by the company would also have prevented this unsafe system of work from being adopted.”

     

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