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Builder fined after worker fell from height

30 October 2017

A builder has been fined after a worker suffered serious injuries after falling from height from a scaffold.

Derby Magistrates’ Court heard that on 22 April 2017, a worker for Nicholas Lawrence Birkin fell five metres from scaffolding at a construction site in Heanor, Derbyshire. He suffered deep lacerations to his face which required 40 stitches along with a fractured eye socket and wrist.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the worker, who was working under the control and direction of Mr Birkin, was using an electric hoist and wheelbarrow to lift roof tiles up to the scaffold platform. The scaffold guard rails had been removed from a 1.6 m wide section to facilitate the lifting operation. The worker fell from the scaffold while attempting to tighten the fittings securing the hoist.

Nicholas Birkin pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) and Regulation 8(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005> He has been fined £2400 and ordered to pay costs of £840.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Andrew Bowker said: “Those in control of work at height have a responsibility to ensure that safe methods of work are used.

“This incident could have been fatal, Mr Birkin failed to provide other means of falls protection once the scaffold guard rails had been removed.

“Following the accident, the defendant hired in a conveyor type tile hoist which has enabled the job of lifting roof tiles to be done with the scaffold guard rails still in place. This has delivered both a safer and more productive site at relatively little cost.”