A construction company has been fined for safety breaches after a worker fell nearly 3 metres.
In accident happened on the upper floor of a building in West Yorkshire which was under refurbishment. An operative was removing a genie lift from the forks of a fork lift truck so steel beams could be lifted into place, when he stepped backwards and fell through the stairwell opening. The IP spent the following six days in hospital having sustained a fractured spine, a fractured skull and a collapsed lung. He is still attending physiotherapy and has been unable to return to work.
The HSE’s investigation found that the company had carried out a risk assessment which identified there would be gaps in the floor through which a person could fall. However, they failed to put in place any measures to either prevent or mitigate the consequences of a fall. Such measures include the use of fixed edge protection systems to prevent falls or the use of fall arrest bags to mitigate falls.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £1,020 in costs.
After the hearing, the HSE Inspector 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 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 installed adequate edge protection around the opening to prevent falls.”