Apprentice injured in fall at work

worker on the ground after falling from a ladder

An international building firm has been fined after an apprentice suffered severe head injuries in a fall at work.

The 19-year-old employee, who has asked not to be named, was working for Pellikaan (Construction) Ltd on the construction of the new West Bromwich Leisure Centre when the incident happened on 4 October 2013.

He fractured his skull in the fall, which broke his hard hat, while he also shattered his ankle and is still off work.

‘Entirely preventable’

Sandwell Magistrates’ Court how the teenager was standing on a tower scaffold in the empty swimming pool as he attempted to cut canvas coverings from wooden roof beams. The scaffold was too high to fit under the beams, however, so he started to take off the handrails.

At ground level, the site manager, who is also the apprentice’s father, and another employee gave the tower a nudge to help get the handrails off. This action caused the six-metre scaffold to topple and fall.

Investigators from the Health and Safety Executive found Pellikaan had failed to ensure the work on the roof beams was properly planned and carried out safely.

The scaffold, meanwhile, had been put on a slope within the pool and no outriggers had been used to stabilise it.

Working at height

The dangers of working at height are well reported.

More than 6,300 employees suffered major injuries after falling from height at work during 2013, while working on roofs accounts for almost a quarter of all workers who are killed in falls from height.

Accident Advice Helpline has vast experience when it comes to claiming personal injury compensation following falls at work.

In the case of the young apprentice, Pellikaan (Construction) Ltd, of Gutter Lane, London, was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £1,046 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations.

Source: PP Construction Safety

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