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Workers exposed to serious risk of injury by builder

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: November 30, 2012

  • Health and safety inspectors found 'multiple safety failings' at the Mount Wise building site, including many 'fall from height' risks.

  • An unprotected lift shaft was just one of the 'fall from height' risks.

A NEWQUAY building contractor has been fined £3,000 for exposing workers to serious risk of falls and injury on a building site.

Bodmin Magistrates' Court heard on Wednesday that Paul David Brannan was the principal contractor at a four-storey apartment block in Mount Wise, Newquay.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered numerous 'fall from height' risks at the site, including unprotected edges in floor-to-ceiling window openings, the lift shaft and stairwell. Scaffolding was also incomplete.

A health and safety inspection had been carried out by a competent adviser two months before the HSE inspection. The fall risks were highlighted by the adviser, yet no effective action had been taken by Mr Brannan to make improvements or to eliminate the safety risks.

Mr Brannan, of Ulalia Road, Newquay, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,800.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector, Barry Trudgian, said: "The dangers of working at height are well known within the construction industry and this site had the greatest number of fall risks I have seen in one structure. It is very fortunate that nobody was injured because in numerous parts of the building, on each floor, there were no measures in place to prevent workers falling from height.

"Today should serve as a reminder to all building contractors and companies to protect their employees from falls when working at height. Failing to do so ends too often in tragedy."