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A company has been fined after one of its workers plunged around three metres when a beam gave way under his weight, resulting in him breaking his thigh bone.

Malcolm Milne fell to the ground at a site in Beach Cliff, Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan in January last year. Falling from a single storey building, he was admitted to hospital for a number of days, was reliant on crutches upon his release for five months, and has still not returned to work on a construction site.

Following an investigation, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Milne's employer, RHP Merchants and Construction. The HSE told Cardiff Magistrates’ Court that neither the 59-year-old worker nor his colleague on site at the time had been given sufficient training in the demolition work they were undertaking.

Milne had also not been adequately trained to work at height, the HSE ruled, and there was no assessment conducted before work got underway. Furthermore, the investigation found that no safety equipment, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), had been provided to the workers.

A lack of supervision and management was also found, with the project manager of the works being on annual leave at the time.

Pleading guilty to the charges against them, RHP was fined £20,000 by the court, with the magistrates also handing down costs of £9,414.

The HSE inspector on the case, David Kirkpatrick said that the incident could have resulted in a death and could easily have been prevented.

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