A worker fractured his shoulder undertaking extension work on the roof a major shopping centre in London, magistrates have been told.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the owners of the centre in White City, Westfield Shoppingtowns Ltd, for a safety breach following the worker’s fall on 20 December 2013.
The same company was the main contractor, responsible for building a two-storey extension to the store roof to build a leisure and educational centre for children called Kidzania.
Brett Mason, 39, from Sedgley in the West Midlands, was subcontracted to move five air supply and circulation units from the old roof to the new one, Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told.
Just before Christmas
Mr Mason and a colleague were finishing work that night ahead of the Christmas break and were making a last check that the materials they would be using when they returned were secure, the court heard.
Magistrates were told that the pair were making sure a section of duct was safely secured and couldn’t blow away when Mr Mason stepped backwards and fell through an unprotected 8m by 1m gap in the newly-laid mesh flooring of the plant deck, before landing on the deck that was two metres below.
He suffered a fracture and dislocation to his right shoulder and could not work for six months after the fall, the court heard.
The HSE investigation found that the accident might not have happened if the company had made sure the gap was surrounded by edge protection – normal practice for companies who employ people to work at height.
Personal injury claim
After admitting a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Westfield Shoppingtowns Ltd, whose headquarters is in MidCity Place, High Holborn, London, was ordered to pay a fine of £10,000 and a further £1,247 towards the cost of the prosecution.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: March 12, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown