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Firm fined £1 after fall leads to partial bowel removal

A company in administration has been given a nominal £1 fine after one of its employees fell and landed on the unprotected end of a scaffolding pole.

The worker, employed by George Hurst & Sons Limited, was removing safety fall bags from the first floor of a primary school project in Wakefield, Yorkshire, when the incident occurred.

Leeds Crown Court heard how the fall bags were too bulky to be safely taken down stairs at the site, so the 61-year-old worker had taken them to the roof and began throwing them over the edge.

One of the bags got caught in the edge protection, dislodging it and causing both the worker and the protection to fall.

The employee landed on the unprotected end of a scaffolding pole which resulted in broken ribs and internal injuries, and later the removal of part of his bowel due to infection.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found George Hurst & Sons Ltd failed to implement the British Standard for edge protection.

As the company had entered into administration, it was fined £1.

HSE inspector Yolande Burns said: “This accident would not have happened if the standard had been met.

“The breaches were ongoing for a period and many other employees were exposed to the risk of falling over the edge of the building.

“Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related injuries in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.”

George Hurst & Sons Limited, of Don Pottery Yard, Rowms Lane, Swinton, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

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