CONSTRUCTION COMPANY SIR ROBERT MCALPINE has been fined £260,000 after a worker fell almost five metres through an unprotected opening while working on a company director’s home.
Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 28 April 2016, Mark Smith, aged 36, was working at Stone Gappe Hall, Lothersdale, Keighley, owned by Richard McAlpine, a director of the McAlpine group of companies.
Mr Smith was attaching straps to a water tank whilst preparing to move it to a lower floor of a water tower at the property, in order to paint the floor.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Smith fell 4.8 metres through an opening that did not have fixed edge protection.
Mr Smith was hospitalised for nine days with serious injuries including three fractures across both legs, multiple skull fractures, lacerations to the face, a concessional head injury and an injury to his ribs.
As a result of his injuries, which also include psychological damage, Mr Smith has been unable to return to work.
Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd of Eaton Court, Maylands Avenue, Hemel Hemstead, Hertfordshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.
As well as the £260,000 fine the company was also ordered to pay £38,299 in costs.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Thompson said: “Falls from height often result in life-changing or fatal injuries.
“In most cases, these incidents are needless and could be prevented by properly planning of the work to ensure that effective preventative and protective measures are in place such as edge protection or barriers built to the correct standard.
“This incident could have easily been prevented if the company had undertaken a thorough risk assessment and installed adequate edge protection around the opening to prevent falls.”