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Construction Worker Seriously Injured – Building Company Fined £12,000

Frederick Stuart, a builder working for a Stratford home, on a scaffolding plank, fell from a height of 2 metres and sustained serious injuries. Building firm Sibbasbridge Ltd., was fined £12,000 for negligence of safety at work.

Employed by Sibbasbridge Ltd., Stuart was working on a property at Tiddington. The single scaffolding plank broke and gave way causing him to fall straddling two ceiling joists. He received serious injuries; he had cut one let and left with two pelvic fractures.  62 year old Stuart was an experienced worker and if he had slipped between the joists he would have fallen from a height of 5 metres on to the concrete floor. If that had happened, probably Stuart would not have been alive today.

Leamington Magistrates Court held a hearing on April 4 and accused the building firm, Sibbasbridge Ltd., of breaching the Health and Safety guidelines while at work. The Health and Safety Executive prosecutor, Paul Thompson contended that the area of the plank on which Stuart was standing was not adequate enough. He accused Albert Leese, the managing director of Sibbasbridge Ltd., of not showing due regard for the safety precautions. Particularly while working on such heights extra care should have been exercised.

It was observed that a similar offence had been committed by the same company during work safety inspection in 2003. Mr. Thompson stated that considering these factors, his accident at work could have been avoided completely. Stuart could have been spared of all the misery if the building firm had adhered to Health and Safety norms.

Andrew Cameron, as defence solicitor however insisted that no disregard was shown to safety rules by his company. He deeply regretted the construction accident and pointed out that the scaffolding board had been removed just before the work accident; but that the area had been boarded previously. His company had revised its policy in accordance with the regulations. It was also noted that Mr. Stuart had returned to work after recouping and that his company was committed to support him.

Magistrate Davies Byron observed that it was true that the builders company had taken appropriate measures after the incident. The accident resulting in seriousworkplace injuries to Stuart could be entirely ascribed to ‘negligence of the company’

Besides a fine of £12.000, the company was also ordered another £3,353 as costs.


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