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Bam Nuttall fined £900k after painter falls through ceiling

Bam Nuttall has been fined £900,000 after a painter fell 10 ft through a ceiling into a waiting room during a train station refurbishment.

Metal fabrication contractor McNealy Brown was also fined £65,000 as both contractors admitted to health and safety failings while working on the refurbishment of East Croydon station.

Painter Paul Welstead fell 10 ft through an unguarded suspended ceiling into the passenger waiting room below on 7 January 2015, and has been unable to return to work since.

Croydon Crown Court heard this week that Mr Welstead and a colleague had not been given safety briefings on multiple occasions after they started work in late 2014.

Bam Nuttall and McNealy Brown were awarded a £12m contract by Network Rail to replace the station floor surfaces, canopy roofs and cladding.

Mr Welstead was one of two industrial painters supplied by a third company (DRH) to undertake specialist tasks for the contractors on the project.

Both him and his colleague were given a site induction when they arrived for work on 18 December 2014, but were not given a safety briefing.

The court heard that they were not told work over the platforms was to be undertaken at night; that workers needed to wear full body harnesses; or that the waiting room below had to be locked.

Furthermore, after Mr Welstead and his colleague returned to site after Christmas on 7 January 2015, they were not given another safety briefing or warned about the fragile roofs.

That morning Mr Welstead fell through the unguarded ceiling into the waiting room.

Office of Rail and Road policy, strategy and planning deputy director Johnny Schute said the fines send out a “powerful message to the industry”.

He said: “The safety of workers on the railways is absolutely paramount, and proper risk assessments and briefings must be carried out and followed.”

A statement from Bam Nuttall said: “We confirm that Bam Nuttall Ltd has been fined £900,000 at East Croydon Crown Court after a supplier’s employee was injured in 2015.

“Bam Nuttall would like to restate its profound regret that this incident occurred. Bam Nuttall has always invested heavily in health and safety and remains fully committed to achieving the highest standards.

“Bam Nuttall continues to strive for a safe working environment for everyone involved in its operations.”

McNealy Brown has been contacted for comment.

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