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14.12.2005

Fabricator hit for £20,000

Thomas Deighton Trading As ATD Fabrications, of Monk Bretton, Barnsley was fined £14,000 plus costs of £6,000 at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday for failing to provide a safe system of work for an employee after an incident on 18 May 2004.

The construction worker sustained a number of broken bones and serious facial injuries after falling around five metres, through a mezzanine floor he was helping to build.

Commenting on the prosecution, David Redman, Construction Principal Inspector with the HSE said:

“The injuries sustained in this particular incident were severe and indeed could have been fatal. Falls from height continue to be the greatest cause of fatal and serious injuries within the workplace generally, and it is a particular problem for a construction industry in which the accident toll is already too high.

“This case sends out a very clear message and emphasises the need to ensure that safe systems of work are devised and implemented to allow persons to work at height safely.”

He went on to give some general advice about working at height:

“Don't start the work until you have properly planned how you are going to do it, and you have fully considered, assessed and controlled the risks involved. Don't underestimate these – simply 'taking care' is not enough and proper precautions must be in place.

“Choose the right work equipment and give serious thought as to whether it will serve to actually prevent a fall, like a guardrail or a working platform, rather than simply lessen its consequences, like a net or an airbag.

“Making do without the right equipment can lead to injury or death, as well as prosecution if the law is broken.”


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