A Berkshire building firm has been fined, after a decorator suffered serious personal injury, when he fell from the first floor of a house construction in Reading.
Sixty three year old decorator Phillip Williams, from Reading, had been sub-contracted by local building firm W Pocock and Sons Limited, to work on the construction of a domestic property on Wintringham Way, in the town.
Reading Magistrates Court was told that the decorator was working on the first floor of the building, when he leant against a guard rail in order to consult with other workers on the ground floor.
Unfortunately the wooden safety rail gave way and Mr. Williams plummeted over two and a half metres, onto the solid concrete floor below.
The decorator suffered multiple injuries in the fall including a fractured hip, five broken ribs and a chipped bone in his spine; he also suffered internal bleeding and clotting around his lungs as a result of his accident.
Mr. Williams spent over three weeks in hospital as a consequence of his injuries and it was a further three months before he could return to his job.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), revealed that the fixtures and fittings on the safety rail had deteriorated due to the rail being repeatedly removed and replaced, while building materials were hoisted from the ground floor onto the first level.
W Pocock and Sons, of Tilehurst, in Reading, admitted a breach of Work at Height Regulations and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay a total of £2,706 in court costs.