Firm fined £16k for five metre fall
Posted Wed, 06 Jan 2010
A Preston company has been ordered to pay £21,000 after one of its subcontractors fell five metres down a badly covered stairwell and fractured his skull and other bones.
The self-employed timber frame erector was working for ECH Ltd, then trading as Maple Timber Frames, at a construction project at Warwick Park, Tunbridge Wells on 11 November 2008. A colleague also working at height with him was not hurt.
ECH Ltd admitted breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act, and Sevenoaks magistrates ordered it to pay a £16,000 fine and £5,000 to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) towards investigation costs.
Inspector of Health and Safety, Melvyn Stancliffe, said: "I would echo the magistrates' statement that these were reckless breaches of the law. The injured man is extremely lucky - despite the severity of his injuries. This sort of fall could easily have killed him. It is all the sadder because it should have been prevented if ECH Ltd had heeded simple safety advice."
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