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Compensation claims may be started by two men left seriously injured following a fall from height accident at work.
Ricki Slocombe and Matthew Blackmore were hurt when they fell from a height of four storeys while working on a construction project to build new student accommodation at Exeter University in February 2008.
At the time of this accident, the men were standing on a platform set up over the top of a lift shaft that subsequently collapsed, which caused them to fall down into the open space.
Mr Slocombe, 35-years-old, sustained two broken legs and was forced to spend several months in a wheelchair, while his 29-year-old colleague suffered a fracture to his back.
An investigation into the accident by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) established that Somerset Carpenters, the men's employer, had been informed through a prohibition notice stating they should not carry out work at the site until safety measures had been established to stop people falling down the shaft.
However, the firm decided to ignore this warning and the men instead stood on a temporary wooden platform, which then collapsed around two weeks after installation.
As such, in the case heard at Exeter Crown Court, the company was issued with a fine of £35,000 for its negligence.
Meanwhile, Cowlin Construction, the lead contractor on the site, had a penalty of £85,000 imposed on it, with Prestoplan, the provider of timber frame materials, being fined some £50,000 for its role in the fall accident injuries.
Therefore, both men may now opt to claim work accident compensation against the companies involved.
Following the conclusion of the case, HSE inspector Simon Chilcott said the incident was a "terrifying experience" for Mr Slocombe and Mr Blackmore and could have easily resulted in their deaths.
"Contractors and employers must make sure they have taken all reasonable measures to provide a safe environment for workers to work in and that any temporary structures are secure," he added.
Posted by Emily Swanson
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