Unstable staircase collapse during refurb work

Workman not informed of staircase hazard suffered serious injury

A building company has been fined after a sub-contractor fell into a basement following the collapse of a staircase on a site in Bolton on 26 April 2016.

Bolton Crown Court heard that, David Walsh, a 59-year-old sub-contractor was working on the refurbishment of a flooded basement when the staircase he used to access the basement collapsed. He suffered three fractured vertebrae.

Edge protection also inadequate

HSE investigators found that the company did not have a safe system of work in place and failed to induct sub-contractors about the staircase, part of which had been removed leaving it structurally dangerous.

The company also failed to provide suitable and sufficient edge protection at the top of the staircase which was situated next to the site welfare facilities.

  • Rombalds Builders Ltd – of Station Works, Parwood Street, Keighley pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £16,000 with costs of £16,561.50.

HSE inspector Seve Gomez-Aspron said after the hearing:“These injuries could have been avoided by properly planning the work and managing the risk on site and making the site secure.

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, so it is important that the risks are managed properly and this is why we take action when failings are identified.”