£112,000 fine for Fatal fall following CDM and Working at Height Breaches

A businessman has been fined £112,000 after a labourer died following a fall from the roof of an industrial unit, just months after another worker was injured in a fall at the same site.

John McCleary fell 15 feet while fitting roof panels at a construction site in Toxteth being managed by Taj ul Malook Mann. He lost his balance while on a narrow beam he was using as no scaffolding had been erected.

The 51-year-old father-of-two was paralysed from the waist down and died of pneumonia just over seven months later as a result of his injuries. Mr Mann was prosecuted by the HSE following Mr McCleary’s death.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Mr Mann had hired Mr McCleary to fit roof panels on an industrial unit he owned in High Park Street, Toxteth. But no scaffolding was supplied and Mr McCleary had to carry out the job while standing on four-inch wide steel beams, leading to him lose his balance and fall.

He underwent an eight-hour operation after the incident on 12 June 2008 and was readmitted to hospital in December with illnesses related to his condition. He died on 27 January 2009.

During the HSE investigation, video was discovered which had been filmed by Mr McCleary on his mobile phone in the weeks before his fall. It shows labourers carrying out work while on top of the narrow roof beams.

Investigations also revealed a bricklayer had escaped with minor injuries after falling from scaffolding at the site in an earlier incident. The worker had refused to continue working for Mr Mann after the incident.

Taj ul Malook Mann admitted four breaches of health and safety regulations, which included:

  • Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 which state that ‘where work is carried out at height, every employer shall take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury’.
  • Regulation 13(2) of the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2007 which states ‘Every contractor shall plan, manage and monitor construction work carried out by him or under his control in a way which ensures that, so far as is reasonably practicable, it is carried out without risks to health and safety’.
  • Regulation 3(1)(b) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 which state ‘Any person in control of a premises or workplace has a duty to report any accidents or injuries to the Health and Safety executive as soon as is practicable and in any event within ten days’.

He was fined £112,000 and ordered to pay £19,331 in prosecution costs on 13 January 2012.

Speaking after the hearing, the Investigating Inspector at the HSE, Kevin Jones, said:

“Property developers must understand that health and safety rules need to be adhered to at all times, regardless of how small a project may be.

“As the project manager at the site, Mr Mann was in charge of buying in materials and employing people to carry out work, but he completely failed to take any steps to protect his workforce. John McCleary was balancing on narrow beams with absolutely nothing in place to stop him from falling.”

Source: Workplace Law January 2012 via Barbour Index

LST Comments: that every site manager must ensure that a safe place of work is provided for their workers. The Site Managers Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) 5-Day Course has an appropriate syllabus which gives site managers the skill set to enable them to manage their site within current legal guidelines. Should any prospective or existing Site Manager not hold a current SMSTS certificate our current courses listing outlines where and when our next SMSTS courses are being held.

January 23, 2012 | Categories: News |
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