Firm Fined After Worker Fractures Skull In Fall

Construction Worker Suffers Serious Injury After Falling Four Metres

11.11.2013

A construction company has been fined £16,000 after admitting to safety failings that left a 50-year-old worker with a fractured skull and eight broken ribs.

North Yorkshire-based HACS Construction pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 following the incident in August 2012.

The unnamed man was attempting to lower a mezzanine floor with a colleague at a unit on the outskirts of Leeds when the accident happened.

He was using a saw to cut through metal sheets when he suddenly lost his balance. The man fell through a gap in the steel framework and dropped four metres to the concrete floor below.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found HACS Construction had failed to put necessary measures in place to ensure the team working on the mezzanine floor were protected.

Although the two workers had been given safety harnesses, it emerged that these were not adequate to prevent a fall and neither of the men had received training on how to use the equipment.

The HSE also discovered the company had originally planned to use a crash deck - a platform placed under the mezzanine floor - to complete the work, but this idea was scrapped in order to save time.

Following the hearing at Leeds Magistrates' Court, HSE inspector Andy Denison said the dangers involved in this type of job had not been properly assessed.

"It is shocking that some construction firms - which are well aware of the high levels of death and injury in their sector as well as the risks involved - are still not fully considering the safety of site workers," he commented.

Although the HSE revealed in October the number of major workplace injuries being reported across the UK hit an all-time low in 2012-13, there are still concerns about the apparent disregard for the nation's Work at Height Regulations.

Figures published by the health and safety regulator confirmed 40 people were killed and 3,400 workers seriously injured in falls in 2011-12.

If you or a loved one has suffered a head or brain injury at work, our specialist serious injury solicitors could help you to claim compensation. Visit our Brain & Head Injury Compensation Claims for more information.