Electrician suffers brain damage after falling from height

A company, two directors and a self-employed contractor have been sentenced and fined after an electrician fell two storeys through an unprotected stairwell.

Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court heard how, on 1 December 2016, Mr T Quirk was carrying out electrical work at Mile House, Main Road, Worleston, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 6DH.This property was owned and was being refurbished by self-employed contractor Mr Steven Dixon.  Mr Quirk, whilst exiting the loft, fell from a damaged Youngman Board spanning the stairwell, landing on the concrete floor below and suffering multiple fractures, a bleed on the brain and facial nerve damage.

Faulty young mans board
Faulty young mans board

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that two directors of the company, Mr Karl Grice and Mr Sean Mullan, were fully aware, along with Mr Dixon, that the damaged board was being used as a makeshift ladder and had used it themselves.  They were also aware of the unprotected edges of the stairwell, but had not carried out risk assessments, identified which control measures were needed, or implemented suitable safety measures to protect workers on site.

Green Generation Renewable Services Ltd of Knowsley Industrial Park, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15 (2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,548.28

Mr Karl Grice of Highmarsh Crescent, Newton-Le-Willows, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15 (2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, by virtue of Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison (suspended for 18 months) and fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,000.

Mr Steven Paul Dixon of Warmingham Grange Lane, Sandbach, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison (suspended for 18 months) and fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,000.

Mr Sean Mullan of Argyle Road, Garston, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15 (2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, by virtue of Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay costs of £2,000.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Deborah Walker said: “This incident could have so easily have been prevented. Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related injuries and the risks associated with working at height are well known. Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary safety measures.”

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