Archive for May, 2014

Firm Fined for Worker’s Injuries after he Fell from a Ladder

May 10th, 2014 | By licnewsadmin

The Solihull firm has been ordered to pay a fine of £6,035 after an investigation into the circumstances of one of their employee’s fall from a ladder as he was working on the set of a television programme.

The worker, Craig Shakespeare, forty-nine of Birmingham in the West Midlands, was working on the television set on the 25th of March 2013 when the accident occurred. The television set was located in The Bond on Fazeley Street, Birmingham, and Mr Shakespeare was working atop a two-metre high ladder to attach a scaffold to the back of the set.

When Mr Shakespeare attempted to pull the fixture towards himself to secure it to the set, it came away from him and Mr Shakespeare lost his balance. Knowing he was about to fall from the ladder, Mr Shakespeare made the decision to jump from the height, and landed on his feet. The impact caused fractures to both of his heels.

Since the accident, Mr Shakespeare has been confined to a wheelchair and has been unable to return to his work. The Health and Safety Executive carried out an investigation into circumstances of his accident and uncovered many breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The HSE subsequently prosecuted Mr Shakespeare’s employers, Swan Scaffolding Contractors Ltd, based in Knowles, Solihull. Earlier this week the case was heard in front of the Birmingham Magistrates Court.

The magistrates heard from the HSE that Swan Scaffolding had no measures to prevent such accidents happening, or to mitigate their potential impacts if they did occur. They also stated that, instead of a ladder, Mr Shakespeare should have been provided with an elevated work platform by his employer, which would have been safer and prevented the accident. As Swan Scaffolding specialises in such structures, they had no excuse for knowing that this accident could have been prevented by such a platform.

Mr Shakespeare’s employers pleaded guilty to the charges against them, and the court fined them £5,000 for breaches of Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, in addition to £535 in costs and a £500 victim surcharge.

Edward Fryer, a HSE Inspector, stated after the hearing that “the danger of using ladders should not be underestimated.  This is another example of serious injuries being sustained where other access equipment could have been used instead. Last year more than 6,300 employees suffered major injuries after falling from height at work.”

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