Safety failures caused plasterer to fall

A plastering contractor has been fined after a self-employed plasterer fell from height during the construction of a house.

Safety failures caused plasterer to fallThe incident happened on 9 July 2018, when the plasterer was due to start work on the project. Visiting Highfield Caldecott, Cambridge on his way back from another job, the plasterer helped a labourer to move plaster boards from ground level to the first-floor landing. There was no edge protection.

The plasterer fell 2.4m from the landing. He spent three weeks in hospital and suffered fractures to his wrists, ribs, eye sockets, skull and nose.

The HSE’s investigation found that the plastering contractor Michal Fletcher had failed to properly plan, manage and monitor the work; specifically failure to:

  • Plan for the right equipment, such as guard rails, to be provided;
  • Manage the work to ensure that effective preventative and protective measures were put in place to control the risk of falling;
  • Monitor the work effectively as the need for guard rails was not identified during routine checks.

Michael Fletcher of St Alban’s Road, Cambridge pleaded guilty a breach under Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay full prosecution costs of £935.60.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Alison Ashworth said: “All work at height needs to be properly planned and the most effective preventative measures applied. Guard rails are a well known and effective safeguard which could easily have prevented this incident.”