Builders could have been killed after mezzanine fall

Two builders suffered serious personal injury when they fell from a mezzanine floor they were dismantling.

One worker, aged 61 from Seacroft, Leeds broke two vertebrae and was in hospital for five days following the incident.

He has been unable to continue working in the construction industry because of impaired lifting and carrying abilities.

The second man, aged 18 and from Halton, suffered concussion, but has since made a full recovery.

The mezzanine, in a Cross Green warehouse that was being vacated, was being purchased by George Simms, a partner in Simco Services, who brought in the two men to dismantle it.

Leeds Magistrates Court was told that Mr Simms gave inadequate thought to planning the work, and existing handrails, intended to prevent falls from the mezzanine, were removed.

As the work went on, it is thought one of the boards broke and the two men fell to the concrete floor below.

The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted George Simms for a breach of the Work at Height Regulations.

HSE told the court that Mr Simms had not considered how the work should be undertaken and this led to the two men working at height with no safeguards in place to prevent them falling.

HSE said it was the ad-hoc nature of the work which ultimately led to the serious risks faced by the men.

George Simms, of Ramshead Drive, Seacroft, Leeds, was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £3,210 in costs after admitting a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Martin Hutton said: “The two men who fell from height could easily have been killed.

“As far as Mr Simms goes, his only method of work was an unsafe, poorly-planned one, presenting abundant risks to workers of falling off or through the mezzanine.

“Work at height is the single biggest cause of fatal incidents in the workplace and proper planning is vital to ensure it can be carried out safely. That includes choosing the most suitable equipment and making sure work is properly supervised.”

If you have suffered a personal injury in the workplace, you could be entitled to compensation. Call PM Law solicitors in Sheffield on 0114 2965444.

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