“Air conditioning firm fined after apprentice falls through ceiling” Asons Solicitors Comment

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According to the HSE an air conditioning company has been fined after an apprentice fell three metres through a fragile plasterboard ceiling and broke his arm. (1)

The 20-year-old from Wrexham, who did not wish to be named, was installing an air conditioning system above an office at Llaneurgain House in Northop when the incident took place on 14 March 2012. (1)

As a result of the fall at work, Select Air Services Limited was prosecuted on 11 October 2013 by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found the firm had not put adequate safety measures in place. (1)

Mold Magistrates' Court heard the company had not provided crawling boards, which meant employees had to manoeuvre from joist to joist to carry out the work. As a result there was nothing to prevent those working on the site from falling through the fragile plasterboard that surrounded the air conditioning system. (1)

The apprentice fell three metres to the floor below, he broke his left arm, and as a result of his injuries he was off work ten weeks. (1)

Commenting on the incident, Thomas Fairclough, Asons Executive, stated that;

“Falls at work are the most common cause of workplace deaths, with falls through fragile surfaces accounting for a fifth of the fatalities. Luckily, this injury was not fatal. However he has still endured a personal injury, suffering that could have been prevented, had the correct health and safety procedures been implemented.”

Select Air Services Limited, of Sefton Business Park, Olympic Way, Aintree, was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £6,600 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. (1) (HE15102013)

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Chris Wilcox said:

"The risks associated with falling through a ceiling are something most of us would recognise from our own lofts at home, yet Select Air Services Limited failed to implement basic safety measures to minimise the risk of falls. (1)

"The workers were installing the air conditioning system above a fragile plasterboard ceiling but their employer neglected to plan the work properly and provide simple safeguards such as crawling boards or safety decking that could have prevented a fall. (1)

"The dangers of working at height are well known and this prosecution should serve as a reminder to all contractors to ensure work is properly planned and robust safety precautions are put in place. Employers have a legal duty to manage safety and failing to do so too often ends in tragedy." (1)

According to the HSE 40 workers were killed, and more than 3,400 were seriously injured, in falls from height in 2011/12. (2)

If you, or someone you know, have suffered, then you may be able to make a fall at work claim. Asons Solicitors deal with work related personal injury claims, and industrial disease such as asbestosis and vibration white finger, you can contact them on: 01204 521 133 or you can fill out their claim form at http://www.asons.co.uk

(1)    Air conditioning firm fined after apprentice falls through ceiling -http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2013/rnn-w-select-air-services.htm - HSE October 2013
(2)    Falls from height in the workplace - http://www.hse.gov.uk/falls/index.htm - HSE October 2013

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About Asons Solicitors:
Asons Solicitors is a Bolton-based law practice that specialises in personal injury and industrial disease claims. Founded by brothers Imran Akram and Kamran Akram, Asons Solicitors has developed to become a young and dynamic law firm that delivers practical solutions to clients in times of difficulty. Their continued focus on their staff has seen them awarded with the Investors in People “Gold Award”; which is reflected in the professional and personable approach they take in working with clients. They strive to grow and to develop, and their supportiveness and attention to detail ensures that their clients use them time and again.

For further information contact:
Email: info(at)asons.co.uk
Website: http://www.asons.co.uk

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Imran Akram
Asons Solicitors

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