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Construction firm fined after site visitor seriously injured in fall

The 53-year-old man fell from the second storey of a house when a sheet of plywood on which he was standing gave way. He had been to the site looking for a friend, who was an employee, and on finding no one on duty in the site cabin had looked around for anyone who might know where his friend was. He had found two workers laying floorboards in the half-finished house, and had climbed up two ladders to talk to them, when the board he was standing on gave way and he fell onto the concrete floor below. The man was taken to hospital and was put into an induced coma to help cope with his injuries, which included serious head and spinal trauma. It is thought he is unlikely ever to recover fully from the injuries and will require care for the rest of his life.The subsequent investigation by the HSE found a number of faults in the conduct of the firm. No security guard or other employee was present to monitor anyone who came onto the site. Additionally, the building in which he was injured was deemed unsafe, and the piece of plywood on which he was standing was too narrow to cover the hole safely. The scaffolding around the house was not up to standard and had missing parts.HSE Inspector Grayam Barnes commented, “Global Construction’s working practices were fundamentally unsafe. It simply should not have been possible for a friend of one of the workers to climb up two ladders through the stairwell of a partially constructed house. He suffered severe injuries in the fall, but it could just as easily have been one of the workers who found themselves in hospital as there was a high risk of the plywood resting over the void slipping when someone stood on it.”Have you been affected by an injury in the workplace, whether as an employee or a visitor? Talk to us. We are personal injury specialists with over 25 years experience in workplace accidents and can give you the expert advice you need. Call 01302 320621 or email

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