A worker for a Tyneside house builder was seriously hurt in a fall after a temporary handrail gave way, a court has heard.
The agency worker was working as a plasterer with Bellway Homes, North Tyneside magistrates heard. Health and safety chiefs took the company to court for alleged safety failings which caused the woman’s injury at work.
The court heard the worker had been clearing rubbish on the first floor of the property which was close to completion in Earsdon View, Shiremoor. She leaned on a temporary handrail on the landing which gave way, causing her to fall 2.6 metres onto the floor beneath.
Could have been avoided
The Health and Safety Executive found that the handrail was a single piece of timber fitted to an upright post at one side and nailed to a timber door frame at the other – the point at which it gave way. There was no mid-rail to boost support, investigators found.
The firm also failed to provide measures or preventative accident advice to stop people from falling, experts found, concluding that the incident could have been avoided altogether had a more robust handrail been installed.
As well as the fractures, the worker severed tendons in her left hand and was badly bruised about the face and neck.
She could not go back to work for six months, is in constant pain, and may never work as a plasterer again.
Bellway was fined £10,000 after admitting to breaching work regulations and was also ordered to pay more than £900 in costs.
Source: Construction Enquirer
Date Published: April 8, 2014
Author: David Brown