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Bricklayer's fall puts Berkshire builders in court

06-08-2012

A construction and design company in Berkshire has been prosecuted for safety failings after a bricklayer was seriously injured when he fell three metres through a skylight opening in a flat roof.

The worker broke his pelvis and wrist in the fall at Holmsbury St. Mary, Surrey, on 18 November last year.

Wokingham-based Bascomb and Drew, which works in London and across the Home Counties, was building a large house at the site.

On 30 July, Guildford Magistrates' Court heard that the bricklayer was constructing kitchen walls when the incident occurred.

Carpenters had finished putting roof joists in place, but had left two holes for rooflights, which they had covered with blue membrane sheeting and marked with timbers around the edges.

On the day of the incident, the bricklaying team had set out the blocks to be used that day and had left them on the partially-built kitchen roof. At one stage the bricklayer moved from scaffolding to the roof so he could access the top of a wall he was working on, but slipped and fell through the hole left for the rooflight, which had was obscured by the membrane.

He is still unable to return to work as a result of the injuries he sustained.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Bascomb and Drew had not taken sufficient action to safeguard workers on site because the rooflight holes were inadequately guarded and obscured.

Bascomb and Drew Ltd., of Keephatch Farmhouse, Clover Close, Wokingham, was fined £13,000 and ordered to pay £4,662 in costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

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