A construction company has been fined £12,000 after a Shropshire bricklayer fell through a stairwell opening and fractured his skull.
Working alongside another employee, Mr Ife, who was 27 at the time, was laying the blocks to form the gable walls for a two-storey extension. The pair set up a working platform using Youngman boards on the first floor of the property. As there was an unprotected stairwell opening in the property, one end of the Youngman boards was unsupported.
While leaning over to point up the blocks in the gable walls, the worker lost his balance before falling onto the unsupported Youngman boards and through the stairwell opening.
He fell four-and-a-half metres onto the concrete floor below, fracturing his skull and damaging his facial nerve. The man was hospitalised for three days following the incident.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identified a series of failings on the part of 2 Counties Construction (Midlands) Ltd including a lack of suitable controls for preventing falls into the building and through the stairwell openings. There was also inadequate planning, a lack of selection of equipment for working at height and inadequate site management arrangements.
2 Counties Construction (Midlands) Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £4,139 in costs at Magistrates’ Court on 21 July 2023.
HSE inspector David Brassington said, “This incident could and should have been easily avoided. Work at height needs to be properly planned and managed to ensure that appropriate precautions are used."
Every employer has a duty to manage the health and safety of those they employ or those who may be affected by their undertakings. Ensure risks are assessed, and take action where it has been identified that control measures are needed.
If you require Working at Height training don't hesitate to get in contact: