Worker fell from scaffold tower

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A BULWELL firm has been fined after one of its workers fell more than 29 feet and fractured his back.

M-tech Engineering, of Third Avenue, off Greasley Street, pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety laws.

Nottingham Magistrates Court heard that the injured 38-year-old, who has not been named, fractured two vertebrae and was off work for seven months.

M-tech was installing a steel staircase at a building that was being refurbished on Convent Street, Nottingham in April 2009.

The man fell from a mobile tower scaffold. M-tech was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £4,000 costs.

The principle contractor on the job, Thomas Long And Sons Limited, of Mile End Road, Colwick, admitted failing to plan, manage and monitor construction to ensure it was carried out without risks to health and safety. It was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 in costs.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the scaffold had not been put up to the manufacturer’s instructions or industry guidelines.

It was supported on a platform that was not sufficiently rigid to provide a suitable base, while the working platform was not fitted with adequate guard-rails to prevent falls.

HSE inspector Kevin Wilson said: “Work at height should be properly planned and a safe system of work developed with access equipment provided that is suitable for the task.

He added: “A man suffered serious injuries. It was only chance that his injuries were not more severe because he fortuitously landed on a surface that absorbed the energy of his fall.”