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Injury brings early end to Hull man's working life

A business owner in Hull has been prosecuted after an employee fell nearly four metres while painting the top of a water storage tank and shattered his left leg.

The 58 year-old decorator, from north-west Hull, will never be able to go back to his lifetime trade or any other construction-related work following the incident on 29 November last year.

He and a colleague, both employees of Mawe Staff & Co Ltd., were asked by managing director Colin Mawe to paint seven storage tanks at Humber Growers' Beckside Nursery in Ellerker, East Yorkshire. While painting the crown of one of them, he lost his balance as he walked along the curved top surface and fell onto the concrete floor slabs below.The tank that the worker fell from - some 4m high

The worker suffered multiple fractures to his left leg and broke his right heel. He has had two operations to pin and re-build the bones in his leg and was confined to a wheelchair for several weeks. He now has to rely on crutches and is still receiving physiotherapy.

On 5 December, Beverley Magistrates heard that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) brought the prosecution against Colin Mawe for safety failings after investigating the incident. HSE found there was no protection in place along the sides of the tanks to prevent a fall.

The court was told Mr Mawe had provided inadequate access equipment for the job and had instructed the two men to use it. He had then seen both his employees working in a clearly unsafe manner, but had failed to take any steps to put effective safety measures in place to prevent them from falling.

Colin Mawe, of Temple Close, Welton, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 by virtue of his neglect as an individual director. He was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £1,800 in costs.


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