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Thu February 25 2021

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Contractor fined over 15-foot fall

18 Aug 20 A Kinross-based contractor has been fined after a subcontractor sustained significant head injuries when he fell 15 feet.

Brebner & Williamson Limited has been fined following the incident in 2016 in which John Niven, a self-employed subcontractor, fell 15 feet from a board that had been used to create a temporary platform. Niven sustained multiple fractures and a brain injury.

Perth Sheriff Court heard that Niven was working on a new build at Plot 1, Station Road, Crook of Devon, Kinross. A board was used to create a temporary platform to give access to the roof in an area without scaffolding. Niven was standing on the board when it slipped, causing him to fall onto a concrete floor slab below.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that Brebner & Williamson failed to properly supervise the work at height, ensure scaffold surrounded the full perimeter of the house under construction, and ensure a suitable working platform and fall protection measures were in place.

Brebner & Williamson of St David’s Drive, St David’s Business Park, Dalgety Bay, Fife, pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Regulation 4 and Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974. The company was fined £5,000.

HSE inspector Gillian Anderson said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities and severe injuries in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

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