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Building firm sentenced after worker breaks back in fall

Construction site where bricklayer fell through joists and broke his backA building firm has been sentenced after a bricklayer broke his back when he fell through exposed floor joists at a site in Widnes.

The 40-year-old man from Southport was working on a project to refurbish a corner shop and construct four one-bedroom houses when he fell three metres from the first to the ground floor.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the principal contractor for the project, Frank Rogers (Building Contractor) Ltd., following an investigation into the incident at Albert Road in Widnes on 3 May 2011.

Warrington Magistrates’ Court heard that there was no internal staircase in the building, so workers had to climb up a ladder or through a window opening from scaffolding to access the first floor.

The bricklayer tripped as he stepped from the window onto a trestle on the floor, and fell between the exposed joists. He suffered a brief loss of consciousness and a broken back.

Frank Rogers (Building Contractors) Ltd. pleaded guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 by failing to make sure that sufficient measures were in place to prevent workers being injured in a fall. The company, of Lark Hill Lane in Liverpool, was fined £13,500 and ordered to pay £7,509 in prosecution costs on 13 June 2012.


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