Plasterer broke back in house-build fall

A plasterer working on the construction of a six-bedroom house broke his back after falling off an unguarded first-floor landing, a court heard.

CB Homes Ltd, the main contractor for the seven-home development at Little Budworth in Cheshire, was fined £10,000 with costs of £1,376 after admitting two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations.

Worker broke two vertebrae

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard the accident at work happened in May 2013 while the 58-year-old man, who lives in Wrexham but does not want to be identified, was working for a plastering firm hired by CB Homes, of Tarporley, Cheshire.

Magistrates were told the man was fitting plasterboard and had used a ladder to get up to the first floor. But there was no guard rail on the landing and he fell when he lost his footing, plunging to the ground three metres below.

The worker broke two vertebrae in his back and also suffered injuries to his spine, legs and hips.

The court heard a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation had found that CB Homes had failed to ensure adequate guard rails were put in place on the landing to stop workers falling.

‘Firm fell far below legal requirement’

The firm, which was managing the development at Mondrem Green on Chester Road, had also failed to ensure the plastering work could be done safely, magistrates were told.

After the court case HSE inspector Laura Moran said the site’s main contractor – CB Homes – was responsible for ensuring that any work at height could be done safely.

She said the plasterer’s fall should and could have been prevented by CB Homes properly planning and supervising the work.

The inspector added that while building firms are legally bound to ensure that tradesmen they bring on to sites can do their work safely, CB Homes had failed to meet that requirement.

Source: HSE

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