Yorkshire construction company Illson has been prosecuted after one of its workers sustained serious back injuries when he plunged more than three metres from a terrace retaining wall on a construction site.
There were no guardrails in place to prevent Graham Parkin falling from height as he accessed a work area. He suffered a fractured vertebrae and has been left with long-term disability problems as a result.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Wharfedale-based Illson (Builders & Contractors) for a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 over the incident, which occurred at the Corn Mill in Burley on 19 November 2008. The company was acting as principal contractor on the construction site.
Illson also pleaded guilty to a charge under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 for failing to notify HSE that construction work was due to take place on site.
Kendall Varley, Parkin’s employer, also pleaded guilty to the same CDM Regs charge.
Bradford Magistrates Court heard that because both companies were the clients for the work, they should have appointed a Construction Design and Management co-ordinator (CDMc) to notify HSE of the construction work. Their failure to do so led to the responsibility for non-notification reverting to them.
Illson was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,800 for both offences while Kendall Varley Ltd was given a fine of £2,000 and costs of £1,800 for the one offence.
After the hearing, HSE inspector, David Welsh commented: “If HSE had been correctly notified that work on the Corn Mill was going to take place, it could have inspected the site and the injury may have been averted.
“The measures in place at the time - the responsibility of Illson - simply did not amount to a safe system of work, and as a result Graham Parkin sustained a serious, long-term, fall from height injury.”