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Firm fined over fatal ladder fall

DC Kennedy Homes has been fined £7,500 by the Health and Safety Executive over the death of one of its workers.

Ian Smith, 64, died after falling 5m from a ladder while working for the house builder in Dale Gardens, on Easedale Road in Bolton, on 19 December 2007. Mr Smith was working on a project to build six new semi-detached houses, Manchester Crown Court heard.

DC Kennedy Homes, of Ladybridge Lane in Bolton, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to ensure Mr Smith’s safety.

HSE’s investigation found the firm had allowed work to begin on the first and second floors of the house before the stairs had been fitted. The ladder, used to reach the second floor, was unsecured and missing its rubber feet. The company was ordered to pay an additional £7,500 towards prosecution costs.

HSE principal inspector for Greater Manchester Polly Tomlinson said: “This was a tragic incident that could easily have been prevented if DC Kennedy Homes had put more thought into the safety of its employees.”