Work at height regulations breach by construction company
A QA contractor working for a Lincolnshire-based company, has suffered life-changing injuries following a fall while working at height.
M & L Installers Ltd had been awarded a mezzanine flooring contract for a company in Surrey. The Lincolnshire company, which specialises in the installation of mezzanine floors, had agreed to fit the floor for the factory in Sunbury-on-Thames in January 2015. The mezzanine floor was designed with a hole so that a lift could be installed at a later date.
Guildford Crown Court was informed that the contractor stepped backwards and fell through the hole, landing on a concrete floor after falling more than 3.5 metres. The contractor suffered severe, life-threatening injuries, including a brain injury, resulting in him being hospitalised for two months. Since the incident, the contractor has been unable to work.
The Health and Safety Executive conducted an investigation and found that the company had failed to board up the hole left for the lift installation, and had also failed to guard the hole to prevent anyone from falling through. In any company where health and safety is important, precautions must be taken. These will range from personal protective equipment (PPE), safety notices, appropriate workwear and training, as well as situation-specific risk assessments are all key elements.
Amanda Huff, the inspector with HSE, noted that the contractor could have been killed and the incident could have been avoided with prevention measures in place. The company pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height regulations, and were fined £20,000 with costs of £9,165.56 to pay.