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Companies prosecuted for health and safety failings after fall at work

by Redmans Solicitors on May 17, 2013

Two East Anglia companies have been prosecuted after a worker suffered serious injuries after a fall at work.

This case demonstrates that companies should always take health and safety advice and employment law advice from expert professionals. A failure to apply proper health and safety standards in this particular incidence led to serious injuries to an employee.

Two companies, NMH Property Services Ltd (“NMH”) and SEH Commercial Ltd (“SEH”) were in court this week after a former employee of NMH, Mr Constantin-Iulian Pascu, 25, suffered extremely serious injuries after he fell thirty feet through a roof and onto a concrete floor.

The accident happened on 7 December 2011 when Mr Pascu was working for NMH installing solar panels at Bayford Hall Farm with Ipswich-based SEH. Mr Pascu was working at height with an electrician from NMH carrying out the final connection and commissioning of the solar panels when the incident happened. Both workers were climbing on the scaffolding to carry out roof-level checks but Mr Pascu failed to see a rooflight and fell through the persplex window onto the floor below. This resulted in Mr Pascu receiving serious injuries to his spine, pelvis and upper body; he suffered a fractured spine, broken pelvis and lacerations to his upper and lower body. These injuries meant that Mr Pascu was unable to walk without help for four months and was unable to work for six months.

The Health and Safety Executive (“HSE”) was notified of the accident and investigated. This investigation recommended a prosecution of the two companies, NMH and SEH.

he matter came before the Hertford Magistrates Court yesterday. The court heard evidence that SEH had erected scaffolding to carry out the works and had originally installed safety netting to prevent injury to workers from falls. However, the safety netting had been removed on the previous day (6 December 2011) as the works were coming to a close. The court further heard that the NMH electrician had inadvertently smashed a perspex rooflight when he was conducting his work on the 6 December and that the site manager had inspected this, concluding that it did not pose a risk. However, he had failed to notice that the safety netting had been removed and the matter was not reported through the proper channels. Mr Pascu’s fall happened the next day.

Both companies pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches. NMH was found guilty of breaching Regulation 9(2)(b) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and SEH was found guilty of a breach of Regulation 13(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. NMH was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £2,219 costs. SEH was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £4,437 costs.

If you’ve been injured in an injury at work then you may wish to pursue your employer for personal injury. If you choose to pursue a claim then it may be settled through a compromise agreement or you may have to go all the way to court to achieve justice.

Redmans Solicitors are employment law solicitors based in London.

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