Company Fined Over Decorator's Injury

A Company In Essex Has Been Fined By The HSE Following An Industrial Accident


A company in Essex has been fined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after one of its workers was severely injured in an accident.

David Scanlon, a decorator from Dunstable, suffered a number of serious injuries in the accident - including several fractured ribs, a fractured left arm and thumb, tendons snaps on an index finger, cuts and bruises to his head, two cracked vertebrae and suffered several collapsed discs - when he fell down a staircase.

He was hospitalised for five days and has not since been able to return to work.

After the man's contractor, Hill Partnerships, reported the incident to the HSE, it was prosecuted after inspectors found temporary guardrails did not meet statutory requirements.

Investigations by the organisation concluded that Mr Scanlon stopped on a landing area to talk to colleagues that were descending to the ground floor, but as he did this the fencing around a stairwell gave way.

For its part in the accident, Hill Partnerships was fined £3,000 and told to pay £4,501 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

After the verdict had been handed down at Cambridge Magistrates' Court, HSE inspector Gavin Bull said: "Hill Partnerships failed to ensure the guard-rails they provided to prevent falls inside the buildings were suitable when work was being undertaken. There are well established design standards for temporary guardrails that could have been adopted and put in place.

"Construction work is a high-risk activity and falls account for a large proportion of all deaths and serious injuries."

A similar incident recently saw London-based Iron Mountain, a security company, fined £5,000 and told to pay £8,940 after one of its workers fractured his arm while working on a dangerous step ladder.

Westminster Magistrates' Court was told the staff member was trying to reach a high object with a ladder that was in poor condition and had a number of cracks in it.