A Coventry construction worker suffered serious personal injury, after he fell a distance of almost six metres through a concealed service void.
Thirty three year old Ian Howells, a contract worker from Tile Hill, was working on the fifth floor of a construction project at Edgbaston cricket ground but as he and a colleague attempted to move a heavy floor grinder, he stepped onto a polythene covered pallet, which had been placed on top of scaffolding to prevent rain coming in through a service void.
Unfortunately the wooden pallet collapsed under his weight and he was sent plummeting almost six metres to the floor beneath.
Mr. Howells suffered life changing injuries in the fall, including a punctured lung and a fractured pelvis; he also shattered all of the bones in his left hand and broke all of the ribs on his left hand side.
The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), who discovered that the two principal contractors on the project, Parkstone Group Limited and Galliford Try Construction Limited, had not provided any information to staff on site about the dangers posed by covered voids, nor had any warning signs been affixed to the void to highlight the potential risk.
Both companies admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act and both were fined £13,500 each, following a successful prosecution by the HSE at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.