Man hurt in lift shaft fall at work

A man was seriously hurt after falling nearly 30ft down a lift shaft in a work accident on a hospital construction site.

His construction firm, Belfast-based Farrans (Construction) Ltd, was fined £10,000 following the incident on March 29, 2012.

Lift engineer Terry Moore, from Wisbech, sustained fractures to his left foot, shoulder, lower spine and pelvis and was unable to work for many months after the accident at Rosie Maternity Hospital – part of Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Farrans at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, January 23.

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‘Could have been killed’

The work accident happened as Mr Moore was working on the top floor of a new, three-storey annex being built.

Mr Moore, 51, was preparing the lift shaft before a lift installation, the court was told. He was about to bring up additional apparatus from a floor underneath when he plunged around nine metres (29ft 6in) to the bottom of the lift shaft.

HSE’s investigation discovered that that guard-rails put across the entrance to the upper floor shaft were 908mm (2ft 11in) high and failed to meet a long-standing regulatory requirement.

The top guard rail should be a minimum of 950mm (3ft 1in) over the edge from which a person is liable to fall.

Farrans (Construction) Ltd, of Kingsway, Dunmurry, Belfast, was also told to pay £5,225 costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

HSE inspector John Berezansky, speaking after the case, said: “Mr Moore could easily have been killed.”

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