Construction Firm Fined £145,000 Over Fall From Height Incident

Company 'Failed To Act On Safety Advice'

01.11.2011

A Manchester-based building firm has admitted breaching safety regulations in relation to an incident in which a worker suffered serious injuries after a fall from height.

J Mills (Contractors) Ltd has been fined £145,000 over the work accident in March 2007 when 32-year-old worker Alan Kerwin fell through a fragile roof and onto a concrete floor, suffering several injuries including a fractured skull.

The man went on to develop post-traumatic epilepsy as a result of his injuries and died following a seizure in April 2009.

It was revealed in court that Mr Kerwin’s line manager had been advised by the Health and Safety Executive a week before the incident on the issue of working safely on fragile roofs, but such information was not acted upon.

Stephen Nye, a Partner and workplace injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The construction industry is one of the most dangerous sectors to work in, with falls from height being an all too common cause of injury on sites.

“We help many people who have suffered injury in such circumstances and it is disturbing just how regularly we are contacted over such completely avoidable incidents.

“One of the particularly tragic aspects of this case is that advice was given on the issue just a week before – information which potentially could have made all of the difference and even prevented this incident from occurring.

“Construction firms should be fully conversant with the Work at Height and Constructions regulations, and simply cannot ignore the warnings and advice they are given about health and safety. It is absolutely vital that lessons are learned which will go some way to preventing similar problems like this from emerging in the future.”