News Essex Firm Made Pay £39k Workers Fall

An Essex construction firm has been made to pay £39,000 after an employee broke his spine when he fell through a skylight opening at a construction site in Hampshire.

The worker made a full recovery following the incident in Titchfield, near Fareham, in August 2011, but was unable to work for six weeks.

Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard that he was working for Prestige Construction Services, helping to construct the roof of a new build community centre.

There were several holes in the roof where skylights were to be placed, but they were left exposed, with no coverings or guard rails on or around the holes, and no safety nets underneath.

The worker fell almost four metres to the floor below, with his spine taking the impact. Magistrates were told that he is fortunate to have made such a swift recovery and sustained no lasting damage.

The Rainham-based company, which pleaded guilty, was fined £30,000 and made to pay £9,000 in costs.

HSE principal inspector Steve Hull said: “The incident was entirely preventable had Prestige Construction Services put effective measures in place to prevent or mitigate a fall – as is essential at all times during roofing work.”

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