Fall on block and beam flooring system

Contractors failed to respond to planned fall protection problems

A District Judge at Leeds Magistrates’ Court has heard how, on 13 March 2013, an employee of contractor Rhino Precast Ltd. was laying a concrete block and beam floor to a new mezzanine level. Whilst the workman was carrying out this work he fell through to the floor below, breaking his tibia and fibula.

HSE investigators found the contractor failed to adequately plan the work and had continued to work on site after it became clear the

fall protection provided could not be deployed.

Basic planning and safeguards not in place

The investigation also found that principal contractor, DD Porter Limited, failed to plan, manage and monitor the work. Both companies were prosecuted and sentenced as follows:

  • Rhino Precast Ltd – of Ossett, West Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £33,750 and ordered to pay costs of £2,758.00.
  • DD Porter Limited – of Halifax, West Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22(1) of The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007. The company was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,575.20.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Neil Hope-Collins said:

“Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well-known.

This serious incident could have been avoided if basic planning and safe guards had been put in place and it highlights the importance of the principal contractor in both the planning process and in monitoring the work being carried out.

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

Fall on block and beam flooring system
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