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Portland Stone Firms Limited Fined £40,000 For Ignoring Safety Risks


12:17pm 15th April 2014
(Updated 4:58pm 15th April 2014)

Portland Stone Firms Limited of Easton Street, Portland will have to pay out £40,000  for safety breaches after a worker fell four metres onto a concrete floor.

The employee broke part of his hip bone and suffered head injuries.

Weymouth Magistrates Court heard yesterday (14 April) the 50-year-old Weymouth man, who doesn't want to be named, was working at Portland Stone Firm's Limited main depot in Easton Street in August 2012 when the incident happened.

He was replacing lights on a fragile roof when he stepped back and fell.

He was using a ladder and the roof purlins to gain access to the work site because the cherry picker he usually used had been removed from the site by the company.

He underwent several hip operations and later lost his job with the company.

The Health and Safety Executive said the company should have fitted safety nets or a harness.

The firm pleaded guilty to two breaches of health and safety.  They were fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £18,992 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Mehtaab Hamid said:

"Falling from height is one of the most frequent causes of deaths and injuries by workers. The Work at Height Regulations exist to protect people from serious injury and employers who are prepared to put their workers' lives at risk by breaching them will be prosecuted.
"Employers must ensure that all work at height, particularly work on fragile roofs, is properly planned and organised and that employees are protected from falls. In this case, Portland Stone Firms neglected to implement basic safety measures to minimise the risk of falls and failed in its duty to ensure the health and safety of its employee.

"Employers have a legal duty to manage safety and failing to do so too often ends in tragedy."

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