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Worker Paralysed after Fall at Work – Company Fined

The boss of a demolition firm has been fined £20,000 after a fall at work left one of his employee’s paralysed.

The 67 year old Sunderland man, who has remained unnamed, was working for David Brian Riseborough, trading as The North Eastern Demolition Company, when the accident at work took place on 29 June 2010.

The firm was demolishing a pub on Cox Green Road, Sunderland, and had decided to remove the slates and timbers of the pitched roof by hand. To provide access for the workers, a mobile access platform was put in place, which would also be used as a fall prevention barrier on the edge of the roof.

As the chosen method of fall at work prevention, the platform should have covered the whole roof. It didn’t, and there were no additional controls to ensure a safe system of work. The 67 year old man suffered paralysis as a result of the fall at work, falling 20 feet to the ground below and suffered serious personal injury as a result.

Fall at Work Leads to Nursing Home Care

His permanent paralysis was caused by the following injuries:

  • Several fractures to three vertebrae
  • Fractured right elbow
  • Fractured lower right leg
  • Dislocated right hip
  • Collapsed lung

He is now in need of round the clock care in a nursing home and his spinal injuries have resulted in permanent paralysis of his limbs, which will last his lifetime.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the fall at work and concluded that there was no need for any work at height to take place on the demolition project as a 360 degree mechanical excavator would have achieved the desired effect, with the eventual work carried out being done in an unsafe manner, without the correct instruction or supervision. A spokesperson said:

“In choosing to undertake the work at height system the defendant used was not sufficiently robust enough to prevent one of his employees falling from the roof level to the ground which resulted in injuries that have left this worker in a condition whereby he now needs permanent care to assist him in his daily living.

“Falls from height are one of the largest causes of death and serious injury in the construction industry the consequences of which affect not only the victims, but their families and the community and thus work at height should be planned for carefully, with suitable and sufficient instruction and supervision when executed.”

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Fall at Work Compensation – Speak to a Work Injury Solicitor

The unnamed worker from Sunderland suffered permanent disability as a result of a fall at work that was entirely preventable. The demolition firm put their entire staff at risk, choosing a method of work that was unnecessary and dangerous.

If you have been involved in a fall at work or other workplace accident that has resulted in personal injury, you could be entitled to seek work injury compensation. Contact Duncan Gibbins on to discuss a potential compensation claim on a free, no obligation basis.

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