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Man's life shattered by builder's safety breach

02-04-2012

A Sheffield man is lucky to be alive after suffering multiple injuries in a three metre fall down a flight of stairs at his home.

Michael Hall fell from the top of a new staircase that had been left without a handrail by a local builder during refurbishment work at his home in Dobcroft Road.

Sheffield Magistrates' Court heard today (2 April) that Mr Hall's injuries were life-threatening. He suffered a broken spine, massive head injuries and several broken ribs in the incident on 23 June 2010. He was in intensive care and spent several months in hospital undergoing numerous operations.

Mr Hall, who ran his own car business, has had to learn to walk again and talk properly again after a tracheotomy affected his speech. He still suffers balance problems but has made around a 90 per cent recovery.

The builder working on the refurbishment, Robin Atherton, trading as Mack Construction, reported the incident to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) - a legal obligation - which investigated and brought the prosecution.

Mr Atherton, of Jordanthorpe View, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for safety failings. He was fined £5,000 with costs of £4,000.

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