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Concrete firm pays out £29,000 after worker fractures six ribs in fall

29 Sep 10 Hounslow-based Master Concrete has been prosecuted after a worker was injured following a four-metre fall from a roof.

Hounslow-based Master Concrete has been prosecuted after a worker was injured following a four-metre fall from a roof.

Alfie Deville, 59, from Uxbridge, was hurt when he and three other workers were dismantling a large steel framed building on 30 April 2009.

Two of them went onto the roof to unscrew panels before removing them. The court heard the men were provided with a cherry picker, which would have enabled them to carry out the work without stepping onto the roof but they left the basket of the cherry picker.

Deville stepped on a panel he had previously unscrewed but not removed. The panel gave way and he fell more than four metres to the ground below, suffering a broken collarbone, six fractured ribs and a head wound requiring seven stitches.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation showed Master Concrete had failed to properly plan the work and identify or address any hazards associated with the dismantling of the building.

The court heard the workers involved in the dismantling had no training or experience of this type of work.

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After the incident, a prohibition notice was served preventing further dismantling of the building until the work was properly planned and carried out by competent persons. However, this was ignored and the building was subsequently demolished by untrained employees.

HSE prosecuted Master Concrete for its role in the incident. The company was found guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 at the City of London Magistrates' Court, on 18 May 2010. It was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £18,923.25.

HSE inspector Loraine Charles said: "If the work had been properly planned and carried out by workers who were competent to do it, then this needless injury could have been avoided.

"Master Concrete had a responsibility to ensure that there was a safe system of work in place for the dismantling of this structure, which it did not fulfil, and as a result Alfie Deville sustained a serious injury."

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