A construction company has been fined £20,000 after a builder was injured in a fall at work.
RHP Merchants and Construction Limited, which built the Beachcliff development and Restaurant James Sommerin on Penarth Esplanade, South Glamorgan, admitted flouting health and safety laws at Cardiff and Vale Magistrates Courts.
The firm, which is owned by global property developer Richard Hayward, failed to carry out any risk assessment for the work in question and provided no safety equipment for employees when working at height.
Malcolm Milne, 59, from Caldicot, Gwent, fell approximately 8ft from a single-storey roof to the ground below when a beam he was standing on gave way underneath his weight at Beachcliff on 30 January last year.
He broke his leg in the fall and had to spend several days in hospital, while he was reliant on crutches for five months and has been unable to return to construction work since the devastating incident.
Mr Milne and a colleague were working on a disused lodge building at the site that was being demolished to make way for the new buildings.
Both of them were removing tiles from the roof at the time of the fall.
Health and safety failings
The dangers of working at height are well documented. But an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that neither of the workers had any training for the demolition work. Mr Milne was also untrained for working at height.
In addition to the lack of risk assessment and safety equipment, the project manager was on holiday at the time of the incident, as was a senior site engineer, so supervision and management was in short supply.
RHP Merchants and Construction Limited pleaded guilty to two counts of failing health and safety laws. It was fined £20,000 – the maximum the magistrates’ court could impose – and ordered to pay £9,414 in costs.
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Date Published: November 13, 2014
Author: David Brown