Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Back Broken in Nasty Fall Results in Fine for Two Firms
Posted by David Cant on January 3, 2012

A young worker broke his back in a fall from height after having inadequate equipment for the work he was carrying out. Anthony Strong, aged 24, fell from a void in a roof while he was carrying out some pipe work. During the time of the fall Mr Strong had been working for Cambs Compressor Engineering and was asked to assist with the pipe work which was required for a moulding machine at a company called Ansons Packaging.

Inadequate Safety Gear

Mr Strong was working on a roof void which was positioned above a suspended ceiling. In order to reach the void he and a fellow worker needed to make use of a crawl board to get from the walkways to the place where the pipe work had to be installed. It was while he was making his way across the crawl board Mr Strong fell to the floor, a distance of 6.5 meters. The men were given safety harnesses however as there were no suitable attachment points they had removed the harnesses to make their way to the void.

Multiple Fractions Caused By Fall from Height

Mr Strong was seriously injured in the fall which left him with several fractures. His spine, skull and ribs were all broken. The Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident which took place on 29 October 2008.

The HSE inspectors discovered that there had been some safety measures taken into an account. This included making a risk assessment and also meant that there was some safety gear which could be used for the job. However, it was also discovered that Mr Strong and his colleague had been put at risk by the subcontracting firm, Cambs Compressor Engineering and Ansons Packaging.  This was due to both firms failing to ensure that both men were able to perform the work and there was no safe system of work in place and there was a lack of appropriate equipment.

Both Firms Incurred Fines

The two firms were fined after they admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act. Cambs Compressor Engineering breached Section 2 (1) and Anson Packaging admitted that they had breached Section 3(1).  The subcontractor had also admitted that they did not follow Regulation 5 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Cambridge Crown Court fined Cambs Compressor Engineering a total of £18,015 and they were also ordered to pay £8,452.50 in court costs. Anson Packaging was fined £50,015 and £29,291.09 in costs. The total fined for both firms was £68,030.

Health and Safety Consultants Can Help Prevent Accidents

There are many laws and regulations which need to be followed in the workplace. When working at height it is essential that everything possible is done to avoid accidents. Health and safety consultants can work with firms all over the country to try and avoid these accidents from occurring, and to make sure everything possible has been planned out in advance of work commencing.

Call 0800 1488 677 to find out which of the health and safety services could help your business. By doing so you can be confident when it comes to following the regulations surrounding your industry and make sure that you are fully aware of your legal duties.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Construction Health and Safety, Health and Safety Policy, Health and Safety Regulations, Health and Safety Services, Workplace Safety

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