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£144,000 fine for construction firm

27th September 2016

The case relates to an accident which occurred in February 2013 and resulted in serious injuries for a labourer.

simian-public-accessing-scaffolding

The labourer was working on a two storey, detached house in the Golders Green area of the capital when he fell from the partly demolished roof. He was working with one other labourer on the roof and at the time of the accident no scaffolding had been provided at the property, despite site documents having identified that scaffolding was required.

The worker who was unsupervised at the time fell from a height of 5m and sustained several serious injuries which included a fractured spine. The injured worker spent a total of three months in hospital and was initially in an induced coma for two weeks.

An investigation which was carried out by the HSE two weeks after the accident found that unsupervised demolition work was continuing at the site despite the incident.

In addition to the lack of scaffolding at the property at the time of the accident the investigation also identified a number of other health and safety breaches including asbestos which had been removed from the property and not properly disposed of.

Following the hearing the HSE Inspector commented on the severity of the incident stressing that it could have been avoided if scaffolding had been provided by the firm. He described the organisation’s approach towards the welfare of their workers as “lax and casual.”

Sadly cases like this one come up all too often and we often cover stories about falls from height which could have been avoided if the right scaffolding and supervision had been in place.