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Two Firms Fined Over Falling Beam Injury

'Preventable' Accident Could Easily Have Killed


Two construction companies have been fined after a worker was seriously injured by a falling beam in the City of London.

The six-metre metal beam weighing 32kg fell from the sixth floor of the South Place Hotel, striking a 38-year-old building worker on an access platform below.

He suffered six broken ribs and three fractured vertebrae, spent a week in hospital and was unable to work for two months after the incident.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that subcontractor John Doyle Construction had failed to put safety measures into place that would prevent beams from falling.

Additionally, main contractor McClaren Construction had not identified any problems with the work plan.

McClaren was fined £22,500 and ordered to pay £14,854 in costs, while John Doyle was fined only a nominal £1 as the company is currently in liquidation.

"What happened at the building site that day had the potential to kill one or more workers and members of the public passing close by," said HSE inspector Eileen Gascoigne.

"It was entirely good fortune that the consequences were not even graver."

Expert Opinion
This shocking incident resulted in a worker suffering severe and life-changing injuries which required medical treatment and a lengthy spell out of work. Construction is one of the most dangerous industries and it is vital companies take responsibility for the health and safety of workers and contractors.

“In this incident the HSE highlighted a number of failings that contributed to the accident, which inspectors said could have been prevented. It is crucial companies take the safety of workers seriously and make it a top priority, as all too often we see employees who suffer serious injuries as a result of poor safety standards within the construction industry.”
Stephen Nye, Partner

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