A firm has been forced to pay out nearly £7,000 after an industrial accident where a worker fell more than two-and-a-half metres down a stairwell opening.
The self-employed bricklayer was working a site in Castleford, West Yorkshire, when the accident happened. As a result of falling 2.7 metres through a stairwell opening on the first floor, the 59-year-old suffered serious head injuries.
The main contractor on the site, Ballenwood Properties Ltd, of West Yorkshire, was fined £3,000 by Pontefract magistrates after admitting breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The firm was fined a further £1,000 and ordered to pay £2,970 costs when it pleading guilty to breaching regulation 3(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector David Welsh said: "Falls from height are a major hazard especially in the construction industry. A significant proportion of the falls from height that occur on sites every year are internal falls, for example a fall inside a property, and the risks are frequently not dealt with adequately.
"The simplest way of dealing with the issue of an internal fall is to remove the risk altogether by covering any opening, such as a staircase aperture, with boards or putting a guard rail around."
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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This was a very serious industrial accident. Construction site accidents are a major source of serious and fatal accidents and many involve falls from height or people being struck by falling objects.
"I would urge employers to strictly comply with the legislation so as to prevent the misery caused to those injured following a work accident.
"Sadly I represent many workers who have suffered a head injury following an industrial accident. I help such workers claim compensation for the injuries they have sustained."
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.