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Tue May 11 2021

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£95k fine follows back-breaking fall

16 Oct 17 London building firm West Hill Projects has been fined more than £95,000 after one of its workers fell from height and broke his back.

Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court heard that on 5th December 2016 a man was working next to a large opening in a flat roof on Wandle Road in London. He fell about 3.3 metres through the opening to the ground below and suffered four fractured vertebrae, a fractured rib and a scalp wound. He was unable to work for several months following the incident.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that West Hill Projects Ltd had failed to take any measures to prevent people on site falling through the opening in the flat roof. People had been working in the area in the days beforehand and the company had not properly planned the project.

West Hill Projects Ltd of Seymour Road, London pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £95,604.80 and ordered to pay costs of £988.80.

HSE inspector Owen Rowley said after the incident: “The risks associated with work at height are well known throughout the construction industry. West Hill Projects Ltd failed to control the risk on site and one of its workers suffered serious injuries as a result.

“It is vitally important that those in control of work at height implement suitable and sufficient measures to prevent falls. The simple step of installing edge protection around the opening could have prevented this incident from occurring.”

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