Fall shatters life of Rhondda carpenter: employers fined after HSE prosecution

Monday, 23rd Jun '08 at 08:37

A five-metre fall left Rhondda carpenter David Morgan with serious injuries which may well have ended his career. Following the prosecution of his employers for the incident, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is warning companies to ensure they have safe systems in place for working at height.

Mr Morgan, from Tonyrefail, fell from an extension ladder whilst he was working on a loft conversion carrying a 8ft x 4ft piece of chipboard weighing approximately 25kg, suffering a severely broken ankle, broken wrist, and facial injuries where the wood hit him after he fell.

Loft conversion company Allied Welsh Ltd, of Del Guerra Court, pleaded guilty at Bridgend Magistrates’ Court on Monday (12th May) to a charge under section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and were fined £25,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,600 at Crown Court.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Steve Richardson said: "The company did not have a safe and suitable method of getting materials from ground level up to the loft space where they were working.

"Our investigation showed that the company had previous advice from HSE, but did not heed it on this occasion, and there was a systematic failure to provide a safe working practices in this particular area.

"Mr Morgan has been seriously affected by this incident, even after all this time, and his case must serve as a warning to others to make safety priority while working at height, and using ladders."

HSE is running its 'Shattered Lives' campaign, to highlight the devastating consequences of slips, trips and falls in the workplace. In Wales last year, one person died as a result of a fall from height, while there were a total of 2,599 injuries as a result of a slip, trip or fall, costing Welsh society more than £41.5million.

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