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Fractured spine lands Gloucester firm with £30k fine

A building firm in Gloucester has been fined £30,000 for health and safety failings that led to a worker fracturing their spine after falling from height.

Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court heard how on 22 October 2015 a subcontractor working for King Builders (Gloucester) Ltd suffered a fractured vertebrae as well as chest and head injuries after falling through an unprotected skylight.

A subsequent Health and Safety Executive investigation found that, as principal contractor, King Builders had failed to ensure the safety of those working on the roof off the project.

The investigation also found that there were a number of places on the site at Pitt Street, Gloucester, where someone could have fallen.

King Builders (Gloucester) Ltd was convicted of breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £18,281.70.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Simon Chilcott said: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to ensure safe methods of working are used and to maintain control of those working for them.

“If simple precautions, such as a robust cover or scaffolding, had been in place prior to the incident, the serious injuries sustained by the subcontractor could have been prevented.”

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