Construction firm fined after worker dies from fall

April 8, 2024

Construction firm fined after worker dies from fall

From our colleagues at Barbour EHS.

A construction company in Kent has been fined after a sub-contractor fell and died from his injuries.

Mark Tolley, 51, fell nearly two metres through an opening in a scaffold on 5 July 2017 while working on the construction of six houses on Smarden Road in Headcorn, Kent.

He sustained several broken ribs and serious internal injuries including a punctured lung. He later died on 13 July 2017.

Mr Tolley had been installing vertical hanging tiles on one of the new properties when he fell 1.8 metres through an unguarded opening in the scaffold and landed on the ground below.

The HSE’s investigation found Amberley Homes (Kent) Ltd, the principal contractor for the project, had not appointed a person with the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and training to manage the construction site. The company had not ensured that a safe working platform on the scaffold was maintained throughout the different phases of the project. Access to and from the first lift working platform was unsafe as multiple openings had been made which could subsist for several weeks. The openings were unguarded and therefore there was a significant risk of falling circa 1.8 metres from the working platform.

Amberley Homes (Kent) Ltd did not control the site effectively, the HSE has said. Its monitoring was ineffective as it did not act on concerns raised by its safety consultant when he drew the problems with site management.

Amberley Homes (Kent) Ltd, of London Road, Sevenoaks, Kent, entered a guilty plea to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 during a trial at Maidstone Nightingale Court in January 2024. The company was fined £25,000 and ordered to pay £83,842.34 in costs.

Our Comment

This case illustrates again that this accident could have been avoided by implementing suitable site management controls to ensure that the scaffold was appropriately adapted by competent persons for the needs of the different sub-contractors.

Construction

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This content has been produced in association with our sister company, Barbour.

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