Builder fined following fatal accident

A builder has been fined for failing to ensure the safety of one of their employee who suffered a fatal accident whilst at work.

While carrying out a job on a construction site in North Yorkshire a self employed labourer  fell from an insecure stepladder stepladder while travelling from the ground to the first floor of a two storey extension.

The crown court heard that the stepladder was too short to reach the first floor, which was accessed by passing through a gap in the flooring between joists. The employee was carrying a bucket of mortar at the time he fell. He suffered fatal head injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuting told the hearing the incident could easily have been avoided. It said that the employer had not carried out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and failed to plan and supervise work at height appropriately.

HSE told the court that had he done so he would have identified failings in the standard of access to and from the first floor and ensured that a safe system of work was implemented. His failure to comply with his legal duty of care to those working on site led to the worker suffering fatal injuries.

The employer pleaded guilty to a single charge of section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at work Act 1974.

HSE inspector Yolande Burns-Sleightholme said after the hearing: “The failure by Mr Wright to comply with his legal duty of care to those working on site led to this worker suffering fatal injuries. The potential for this was always present.

“All employers need to ensure that risks from height are fully considered. HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those who fall so far below the required standards”