Two men injured in a stairwell after a 5kg piece of steel fell on to them from nine floors above could have been killed, magistrates have heard.
Harbourview Developments Ltd, of Poole, Dorset, which is now in liquidation but was the main contractor involved in the refurbishment project in Bournemouth, received a token £1 fine after admitting it breached the Work at Height Regulations.
East Dorset Magistrates’ Court heard that the 1.4m length of steel was accidentally knocked into the stairwell from a temporary platform during work to convert the stairwell in a building on Christchurch Road into a lift shaft.
It hit 31-year-old Ryan Smith and 42-year-old Paul Martret, who were unable to move out of the way in time.
Accident ‘was preventable’
The court heard that a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation had found that the accident could have been prevented if the firm, of ArenaBusinessPark, had managed the work better to make sure workers at the site were not put at risk from falling objects.
Magistrates were told that the accident happened after work had begun on installing steel sections around the stairwell that would enable walls and floors to be built. The work resulted in several gaps being created around the edges of the temporary platform.
Magistrates heard a subcontractor had put the piece of metal on to a beam next to the platform so he could step over it. But as he did so he had caught it with his leg, sending it falling into one of the gaps and into the stairwell.
Experts at Accident Advice Helpline can provide people who’ve been hurt in an accident at work with advice on whether they can make a claim for compensation. To discuss your claim with a member of their expert team dial 0800 689 0500 now.
Source: Bournemouth Echo
Date Published: August 12, 2014
Author: David Brown