An apprentice engineer from Wrexham who broke his arm when he dropped three metres through a plasterboard ceiling sees justice as the firm responsible for the accident was fined £10,000.
The 20-year-old male apprentice, who wishes to remain anonymous, broke his left arm and had to take ten weeks off work after falling through a fragile plasterboard ceiling.
The incident occurred on 14 March 2012 while he was installing an air conditioning system in the loft space above an office at Llaneurgain House in Northop.
Mold Magistrates’ Court heard that by failing to provide sufficient crawling boards, Select Air Services Limited – the company the apprentice was working for at the time – forced staff to step from joist to joist in order to get the job done.
Due to the lack of appropriate safety measures, there was nothing to prevent the apprentice’s fall when he lost his footing.
Severe failings in health and safety
Select Air Services Ltd., of Sefton Business Park, Olympic Way in Aintree, pleaded guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
The firm was prosecuted last Friday (11 October) and ordered to pay a £10,000 fine in addition to prosecution costs of £6,600.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Chris Wilcox said:
“The risks associated with falling through a ceiling are something most of us would recognise from our own lofts at home, yet Select Air Services Limited failed to implement basic safety measures to minimise the risk of falls.”
He added that a lack of adequate planning and “simple safeguards” could have prevented the fall.
He continued: “The dangers of working at height are well known and this prosecution should serve as a reminder to all contractors to ensure work is properly planned and robust safety precautions are put in place. Employers have a legal duty to manage safety and failing to do so too often ends in tragedy.”
Have you been involved in a workplace accident that wasn’t your fault? Lampkin & Co Solicitors could pursue a compensation claim on your behalf.