Construction giant fined £900k for painter’s station roof fall
Friday 20th April 2018
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Paul Welstead, who had been subcontracted from a third company, DRH, was carrying out remedial painting works when he fell around 3 m through a suspended ceiling into a waiting room at East Croydon railway station on 7 January 2015.
Croydon Crown Court heard on 18 April that the companies had agreed a £12m contract with Network Rail to undertake the replacement of station floor surfaces, canopy roofs and cladding.
An investigation by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) found that BAM Nuttall had started work in January 2014. Later that year, McNealy Brown had approached DRH to supply painters for finishing work at the station.
Welstead and his colleague Robert Cutter were given a site induction when they arrived for work on 18 December 2014. However, they were not briefed on the risk assessment which required work over the platforms to be undertaken at night, for workers to wear full body harnesses and for the waiting room below to be locked.
When the pair returned to work on 7 January, they were not warned about the fragile roofs. At about 9.40am while repainting fixings on the station canopy, Welstead lost his footing and fell through the unguarded suspended ceiling.
The court heard a crash deck had previously been installed above the platform buildings but had to be removed to allow the works to finish. Plywood working platforms were specified to replace the deck above the fragile ceiling but had not been installed in the area where Welstead fell and no barriers had been erected, nor warning signs or tape to warn of the risk.
Previous incidents in which tools had fallen from the work area into the platform area below should have provided a warning for the companies of the work at height risk.
BAM Nuttall and McNealy Brown admitted charges under s 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. BAM Nuttall was fined £900,000 and McNealy Brown £65,000 and had to pay £7,157 in combined costs.
The injured fitter was working for HPAS (which trades as Safestyle UK) as part of a team of five operatives carrying out a full window and door replacement job at a house in Doncaster, Yorkshire, on 1 March 2017.As the fitter was carrying a window frame up to the first-floor rear bedroom window, his ladder slipped from under him and he fell more than 3 m. He broke a knee cap which required surgery, Sheffield Magistrates’ Court was told.
The roofer, whose fall was broken by a plastic children’s playhouse, sustained a traumatic brain injury, bruising, and damage to his left arm.Poor weather conditions meant that the roofer had to work on the unprotected area to cover the dormer extension and make sure it was watertight. He was at the dormer’s side when the accident happened on 29 October 2015. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the scaffolding did not extend fully across the intended work area and failed to provide protection along the edge where the roofer was working.
The fitter was working for HPAS (which trades as Safestyle UK) installing a first floor rear bedroom window at a property in Doncaster, Yorkshire. On 1 March 2017 the ladder, which had not been footed or tied to a suitable point, slipped and the worker fell more than 3 m. He sustained a broken knee cap which required surgery, Sheffield Magistrates’ Court was told. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company routinely put staff at risk by not ensuring they fitted windows from the inside wherever possible.
Hammersmith, London-based contactor PVAD was extending a basement at a site in Montholme Road near Wandsworth Common, south London, when the HSE visited in March 2017 and identified serious breaches.There was no edge protection in several areas, including at the site entrance where workers could fall 4 m into the basement. The contractor had also installed unsafe “home-made” ramps.The inspector found the site lavatory did not have a cistern to flush and washing facilities consisted of a cold water outdoor tap and bucket, with no soap or towel.
Window and door fitter Stuart Barnes, which had been contracted to undertake the roof replacement work, was fined £8,000 for failing to plan it safely. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that 27-year-old Luke Maslen was working on the garage roof when the incident occurred at Courtlands in Portland, Dorset on 5 January 2016. The fragile structure gave way and he fell almost 2 m, sustaining a serious fracture to his upper spine.