Construction managers warned to control risks of working at height after worker

Sheffield Occupational Health and Safety Association (SOHSA) on 2008-09-04 10:14:02

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned employers and senior managers that they must control the risks of working at height in the workplace. The warning follows the prosecution of the manager of a construction company after an incident led to an employee at a site in Mansfield suffering severe injuries and for failing to control the risks from falls from height at another site in Wollaton. Simon John Ludgate, of Oakfield Avenue, Warsop, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, was fined £1,500* at Nottingham Crown Court today after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) and 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and contravening Regulation 3 (1) (b) (ii) of the Reporting Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 for an incident at the construction site at 82 Sheepwalk Lane, Ravenshead, Mansfield, during his role as manager for Real Estate (Midlands) Ltd. He also pleaded guilty to Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for an incident at the construction site on Trowell Road, Wollaton, Nottingham. Ronald Leslie Cordon, aged 63, from Quarndon, Derby, suffered major injuries when he fell two metres from an unprotected wall on 6 November 2006 while doing bricklaying work on a housing construction site in Mansfield. He fell onto the floor within the house striking his head on some steelwork. Mr Corden was knocked unconscious and suffered cuts to his head with severe bruising and swelling, a fracture to his left thumb, which has resulted in permanent loss of movement, and severely bruised legs. He also suffered from nerve damage to his right temple and now suffers short-term memory loss. Simon John Ludgate, Manager of Real Estate (Midlands) Ltd, failed to report the incident to the HSE. At a second construction site at 52 Trowell Road, Wollaton, Nottingham, the HSE found two employees were at risk of falling from the front edge of a loading bay as there was insufficient protection in place. There was also a risk to members of the public from falling tiles due to the lack of edge protection. HSE inspector for Nottinghamshire, Angus Robbins said: "A series of errors resulted in a tragic incident causing permanent damage to a man's health, but given the circumstances this could easily have resulted in a fatality. Throughout the work at the two construction sites there was a complete failure to plan the work, maintain the necessary protection at height or acknowledge the consequence of falls. "Falls from height remain the most common cause of fatal injuries. Latest figures show that 45 people died from a fall from height at work in 2006/07, with 3,750 suffering major injury. More than half of all fatalities from falls occur in construction. Companies involved in building, refurbishment or maintenance should ensure that the work is planned properly and sensible measures taken so that workers are not exposed to risk. "This case illustrates that risks should be properly assessed and the results acted upon to ensure that decisions can be taken on appropriate equipment and working practices to be used so employees are safe."

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