Prosecutions

Firm fined £65k after carpenter suffers nerve damage in fall

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The 36-year-old carpenter had been working for MP Building Limited when he sustained nerve and tissue damage to his lower back after a fall from height on 2 May 2017.


Luton Magistrates’ Court heard how the employee had climbed up to remove a nail from a brace holding trusses, one of which started to fall causing him to fall with it.

Raised safety decking used as fall mitigation inside the building did not cover the whole area and left significant gaps.

The worker suffered whiplash to neck and his little finger was ripped open in addition to back injuries.

An investigation by HSE found that the company had a risk assessment for working at height operations, but that it was “generic”.

Although it identified falls from height, control measures focused on scaffolding and did not mention internal falls and decking. It was also found that operatives on the site were not trained to install the safety decking.

MP Building Limited of Bilton Road, Hitchin pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Regulation 13(1) of Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £65,000 and ordered to pay £6,298.82 in costs.

Investigating HSE inspector Jenny Morris said: "This incident could so easily have been avoided by planning work at height to ensure that suitable and sufficient measures were in place to prevent falls."

"Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards."

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