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A firm in Yorkshire has been fined £16,000 after a work accident caused multiple injuries to an employee.
The incident occurred on August 7th 2012 when a 50-year old construction employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, was cutting through the steel sheets of mezzanine flooring with a saw when he lost his balance. This resulted in him falling four metres through a hole in the frame, colliding with a concrete floor.
He suffered eight broken ribs and a fractured skull and has since been able to return to work.
Following an investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), his employers HACS Construction admitted to two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 act. In addition to the fine, Leeds Magistrates' Court ordered the company to pay £7,847 in costs.
The business had been contracted to lower the floor of a mezzanine it had previously installed - the injured worker and another member of staff were in the process of removing the steel sheeting in sections, dropping it to the floor underneath them. During this process the workers foot came close to an open edge, causing him to panic and fall through.
HSE's investigation found the firm had not put any measures in place to stop such falls from occurring - while the staff were given safety harnesses, these were found to be unsuitable and no training on how to use them had been offered.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andy Denison said: "There were many failings by HACS Construction that HSE discovered. They had not properly assessed the risks of the job; they didn't provide the correct equipment to allow it to be done safely; adequate training was not given to the two men; there was no supervision, and they failed to take suitable precautions to prevent a fall."
It also found HACS Construction had contemplated using a crash desk safety platform at the start, but had ultimately decided to save time by not doing so.
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