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Multiple broken bones sustained during an accident at work may lead to a man claim compensation for his injuries from his employer.
William Phillips suffered fractures to his back, breastbone, right wrist and ribs when he fell from a height of approx. three metres while working for RG Stones (Buildings) at the Lakelands School in Ellesmere, Shropshire, in August 2011.
At the time of this accident, the 52-year-old man was working on a project to replace a canopy that had been erected between two temporary buildings at the school.
Along with two work colleagues, Mr Phillips was standing on the canopy when he fell in between the timber joists supporting it to the concrete floor below.
The severity of the injuries he sustained mean the employee has yet to be able to return to work at RG Stones, which is a division of RG Stones (Timber) that has more than 40 years' experience in the construction industry.
An investigation into the accident carried out by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) established that the company failed to put in place any protective guards on the surface to prevent its workers from falling through the canopy.
The company had installed two landing bags below the surface to cushion a fall, but neither of these were in position at the time of Mr Phillips' accident, meaning he could now claim compensation for broken bones.
During the case heard at Shrewsbury Magistrates' Court, RG Stones admitted breaching the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and was ordered to pay a fine of £6,500 for its negligence.
Inspector at the HSE Guy Dale labelled the broken bone injuries as "entirely preventable", adding that working at height is a very dangerous activity that always needs to be properly planned.
"The company had obviously appreciated the risks of a fall, as shown by the provision of the landing bags, but it's a shame they didn't think to put them under the area it was most needed," he concluded.
Posted by Emily Swanson
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