Company fined after worker suffers injuries in fall from height

Construction company LJM Building Services Ltd was sentenced for safety breaches after a teenage worker fell three metres to the ground.

Grimsby Magistrates’ Court heard that on 8 May 2019, the 18-year-old worker and another colleague were installing a block and beam floor by lifting large concrete beams from a telehandler and placing them onto the first-floor steels at the construction site on Manby Rd, South Killingholme, Immingham. Whilst manoeuvring the large, heavy beams the worker slipped and fell to the ground sustaining a fractured pelvis and bruising.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the workers had not been provided with any instructions as to how to carry out this work safely. No scaffolding or other work platform had been provided on site to allow them to access first floor height. The workers therefore used some scaffold boards laid across the first-floor steels in order to provide a makeshift work platform to carry out this work. The scaffold boards were not secured in place and did not fill the necessary area. There was therefore a drop of around three metres down to the ground on all sides of the boards. Instead, a temporary crash deck or ‘birdcage scaffold’ should have been in place to provide a safe and stable work platform which did not have open edges.

LJM Building Services Ltd of Victoria Road, Barnetby pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £1,314 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Jennifer Elsgood commented: “LJM Building Services Ltd did not have an established safe system of work, meaning that the workers had to devise their own system using the limited resources available.

“Falls from height often result in life-changing or fatal injuries. In most cases, these incidents are needless and could be prevented by properly planning the work to ensure that effective preventative and protective measures are in place.

“Appropriate supervision of the work by the company would also have prevented this unsafe system of work from being adopted.”

 

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. hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk