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Contractor fined after work platform collapse injures workers

23 Mar 10 A building contractor has been fined after two employees fell from the upstairs of a building when a temporary work platform collapsed above a stairwell.

A building contractor has been fined after two employees fell from the upstairs of a building when a temporary work platform collapsed above a stairwell.

Malcolm Shaun Foyle, of Salisbury, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after two of his employees fell while working at a property in High Street, Tilshead, Salisbury, on 15 August 2008.

At the time of the incident, the stairs had been removed and a temporary platform had been built over the gap to enable access to a small area above the stairwell.

Two scaffold planks were rested on top of a piece of wood that had been screwed into a partition wall. They were also secured at the other end.

One employee was on the makeshift platform but the screws holding the planks in place gave way when a second worker joined him. Both men fell through the stairwell to the ground below with one suffering a fracture.

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Malcolm Shaun Foyle admitted breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,000 at Salisbury Magistrates' Court today.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Principal Inspector, Andrew Kingscott, said: "Falls from height remain the largest cause of fatal and serious injuries in the construction industry. These two workers could have been much more seriously injured than they were.

"All employers need to know that they have a duty to protect their employees. If you are responsible for a project - as Mr Foyle was in this case - then you must ensure that you plan the work properly, take into account all the probable risks, and manage them correctly.

"Incidents like this are easily prevented if the correct measures are taken to make sure that employees are not put at risk."

Last year more than 4,000 employees suffered major injuries after falling from height at work, and 21 workers in the construction industry died.

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