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Contractor receives suspended prison sentence after worker seriously injured

18 October 2017

A contractor from London has today been given a six month prison sentence suspended for eighteen months after an employee fell from height.

Southwark Crown Court heard how, on 11 November 2016, James Gibson was undertaking a refurbishment project when a worker fell through an unprotected hole in the ground floor. The worker fell through the hole measuring approximately 1.5 metres by 3 metres, into a basement below and suffered serious head injuries.

The investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found failures in health and safety management had led to a number of fall from height issues on site, including a lack of sufficient edge protection to prevent workers from falling through the opening in the floor.

James Gibson of Brent Street, London, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was given a six month prison sentence suspended for eighteen months and ordered to pay costs of £8,442.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Matt Raine said: “Falls from height remain one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities and major injuries. Had the employer in this case, James Gibson, implemented adequate control measures to protect the health and safety of his workers, this incident could have been prevented.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at:
  3. HSE news releases are available at


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