Flooring company sentenced for health and safety failing

A company based in Lancashire has admitted health and safety offences after an employee fell through a void in the floor of a building under construction at Fort Kinnaird Retail Park, Edinburgh.

Technic Concrete Floors Limited, a specialist flooring contractor that operates nationwide, pled guilty to a contravention of Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

It was fined £3,300.

The court heard that on the 16 May 2014 Steven Stewart, a self-employed contractor with Technic Concrete Floors Limited, was walking across a floor that was under construction when his boot caught and he tripped. His foot dislodged an unsecured wooden panel covering a void in the floor and he fell approximately 4.5 metres to land on steel mesh grids on the ground below. He sustained serious injuries to his back as well as a broken foot.

The case was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive who found that if a dynamic risk assessment had been carried out before the task commenced, the inadequately protected voids may have been identified as a hazard and safety controls might have been implemented.

The accident could have been avoided had there been adequate planning and supervision by the company.

Gary Aitken, head of health and safety division said: “This was an accident that resulted in life changing injuries that could have been avoided if the appropriate measures had been in place at the time.

“This incident could well have proved fatal and it has irrevocably changed Mr. Stewart’s life.

“Falls from height are usually the greatest single cause of death and serious injury to workers within the construction industry.

“Hopefully this prosecution will remind other employers that failure to fulfil their obligations can have terrible consequences and that they will be held to account for their failings.”

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