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A construction company has been fined £12,000 after a brickklayer fell through a stairwell opening and fractured his skull.

he company had been hired as the principal contractor overseeing the refurbishment of agricultural barns into houses in Telford.

Working alongside another employee, the bricklayer was laying the blocks to form the gable walls for a two-storey extension. The pair set up a working platform using Youngman boards on the first floor of the property. As there was an unprotected stairwell opening in the property, one end of the Youngman boards was unsupported. While leaning over to point up the blocks in the gable walls, the worker lost his balance before falling onto the unsupported Youngman boards and through the stairwell opening. He fell four-and-a-half metres onto the concrete floor below, fracturing his skull and damaging his facial nerve. The man was hospitalised for three days following the incident.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identified a series of failings on the part of the company including a lack of suitable controls for preventing falls into the building and through the stairwell openings. There was also inadequate planning, a lack of selection of equipment for working at height and inadequate site management arrangements.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £4,139 in costs at Cannock Magistrates’ Court on 21 July 2023.

Source – HSE

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