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Thu June 17 2021

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Contractor fined for ignoring height safety

6 Nov 13 A North Yorkshire construction company must pay out early £24,000 after an employee fractured his skull and broke eight ribs in a roof fall.

The roof from which the victim fell
The roof from which the victim fell

The incident, on 7 August 2012 at a unit on the Pool Business Park near Leeds, was investigated by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted Ripley-based HACS Construction Ltd at Leeds Magistrates’ Court yesterday (5 November).

The court heard that HACS had been contracted to lower a mezzanine floor that it had previously installed. The injured worker and a colleague had already broken up and disposed of all the concrete and had moved on to removing the steel sheeting, working in sections and dropping the cut metal to the floor below.

The 50 year-old victim, from Masham, was using a saw to cut through steel sheets of a mezzanine floor when he started to unbalance. He threw the saw through a hole in the metal framework and then fell himself, hitting the concrete floor below.

Magistrates heard that HACS Construction Ltd had not put any fall prevention or protection measures in place. The safety harnesses they had provided to the two workers were unsuitable and neither had been given training in how to use them.

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HACS Construction Ltd of Nidderdale House, Station Yard, Ripley, Harrogate, was fined a total of £16,000 and ordered to pay £7,847 towards costs after admitting two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Andy Denison said: “It is shocking that some construction firms – which are well aware of the high levels of death and injury in their sector as well as the risks involved – are still not fully considering the safety of site workers.

“There were many failings by HACS Construction Ltd that HSE discovered. They had not properly assessed the risks of the job; they didn’t provide the correct equipment to allow it to be done safely; adequate training was not given to the two men; there was no supervision; and they failed to take suitable precautions to prevent a fall.”

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