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Wed June 19 2019

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Suspended jail sentences for height safety fail

3 Jun Suspended prison sentences have been handed down to two builders after an electrician was badly injured in a fall.

Scene of the breach
Scene of the breach

The electrician fell two storeys through an unprotected stairwell while stepping out of the loft of a property in Nantwich.

Last week Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court heard how, on 1st December 2016, Mr T Quirk was carrying out electrical work at Mile House, Main Road, Worleston in Nantwich. The property was owned and was being refurbished by self-employed contractor Steven Dixon, with input from Green Generation Renewable Services Ltd. 

Mr Quirk fell from a damaged Youngman Board spanning the stairwell, landing on the concrete floor below and suffering multiple fractures, a bleed on the brain and facial nerve damage.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that two directors of Green Generation Renewable Services Ltd – Karl Grice and Sean Mullan – were fully aware, along with Steven Dixon, that the damaged board was being used as a makeshift ladder and had used it themselves.  They were also aware of the unprotected edges of the stairwell but had not carried out risk assessments, identified which control measures were needed, or implemented suitable safety measures to protect workers on site.

Green Generation Renewable Services Ltd of Knowsley Industrial Park, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15 (2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. It was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,548.28

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Karl Grice of Highmarsh Crescent, Newton-Le-Willows, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15 (2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, by virtue of Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison (suspended for 18 months), fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,000.

Steven Paul Dixon of Warmingham Grange Lane, Sandbach, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was also sentenced to 16 weeks in prison (suspended for 18 months), fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,000.

Sean Mullan of Argyle Road, Garston, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15 (2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, by virtue of Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay costs of £2,000.

HSE Inspector Deborah Walker said after the hearing: “This incident could have so easily have been prevented. Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related injuries and the risks associated with working at height are well known. Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary safety measures.”

MPU

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