Building company fined after staircase collapse seriously injures worker

A Keighley building company has been fined after a sub-contractor fell into a basement following the collapse of a staircase.

Bolton Crown Court heard that on 26 April 2016, David Walsh, a 59-year-old sub-contractor was working on the refurbishment of a flooded basement at a site in Bolton when the staircase he used to access the basement collapsed. As a result of the fall Mr Walsh suffered three fractured vertebrae.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Rombalds Builders Ltd did not have a safe system of work in place and had failed to induct sub-contractors about the staircase, part of which had been removed leaving it structurally dangerous. The company also failed to provide suitable and sufficient edge protection at the top of the staircase which was situated next to the site welfare facilities.

Rombalds Builders Ltd, of Station Works, Parwood Street, Keighley pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £16,000 with costs of £16,561.50.

HSE inspector Seve Gomez-Aspron said after the hearing:

“These injuries could have been avoided by properly planning the work and managing the risk on site and making the site secure. Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known, so it is important that the risks are managed properly and this is why we take action when failings are identified.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk