A badly covered hole in a floor resulted in a worker suffering life-changing injuries.
Ian Howells suffered multiple injuries in an accident back in November 2010. The contract worker was working on the plant room construction at Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham.
He and a colleague were trying to move a heavy floor grinder. Whilst doing this, he stepped on what he thought was a pile of wood covered by plastic. However, it was actually a pallet covered in polythene that was covering a service void at the top of scaffolding. The pallet collapsed under his weight and he fell six metres to the floor below.
He suffered serious multiple injuries, including a punctured lung and a fractured pelvis. He also broke every rib on the left hand side of his torso. The accident meant that he had to take a year off work recovering, and was completely bed-ridden for two months of the year.
After an investigation, the Health and Safety Executive pursued a prosecution of the principal contractor (Parkstone Group Ltd) and the principal construction contractor (Galliford Try Construction Ltd) for safety breaches in regards to the accident. No information or warning signs had been provided about the risks of the covered voids.
Both companies pleaded guilty to breaking health and safety legislation at court this week. They were both fined £13,500.