Apprentice bricklayer 18 fell 3m through stairwell

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Construction company Trumax Building Ltd was sentenced today for safety breaches after an employee under the age of 18 fell 2.62 metres through a stairway opening at a site in West Butterwick, Scunthorpe.

Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 18 May 2018, the operative was working on the first floor of a house being built at a development property on North Street. He was using a trowel to remove excess mortar from the back of breeze blocks, when he stepped backwards and fell through an unprotected stairway opening onto the concrete ground floor. He suffered two fractured ribs and contusions.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Trumax Building Ltd had failed to install a proprietary guardrail system or traditional scaffold guardrails around the perimeter of the opening.

Trumax Building Ltd of Kelfield, Doncaster pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £803 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Stuart Whitesmith commented: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices, particularly to protect inexperienced workers.

“In this case someone suffered serious injuries which could been easily avoided by installing guardrails around the opening, to prevent workers falling from height.”