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Surrey firm fined for worker fall

21-02-2013

The rooflight opening through which the worker fell - subsequently boarded to prevent further falls

A Surrey carpentry firm has been fined for safety failings after a worker fractured his skull when he fell through a roof light at a construction site in Cobham.

The 21-year-old, who does not wish to be named, also suffered soft tissue damage to his right hamstring in the fall on 7 June 2012 at a development on Oxshott Rise where a large detached home was being built.

Staines Magistrates' Court heard yesterday (20 February) that he was helping to construct a flat roof with a number of roof light openings for Horley-based D&R Carpentry Ltd.

He fell through one of the openings and almost three metres to the ground below.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated and found there was nothing in place to prevent or mitigate a fall, such as safety decking beneath the roof and openings, or a soft landing system.

The fall could have been prevented had the work been properly assessed, and better planned and managed.

Magistrates were told the company had previously been warned to consider the risks posed by falls from height by HSE following site inspections in January and February 2007 to a site in Hurst Green, East Sussex. This resulted in written advice and a Prohibition Notice being served that required work to stop and immediate improvements to be made.

D&R Carpentry, of Smallfield Road, Horley, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £4,407 in costs plus a further £5,000 in compensation after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

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