Blog - Accidents at Work

Three Firms Fined after Workmen Fall Down Lift Shaft

Three companies have been fined after two workers were injured falling down a lift shaft in a construction site accident.

The men were working on the construction of student accommodation at Exeter University when the incident occurred in February 2008. Before the accident, the Health and Safety Executive inspected the building site and issued a Prohibition Notice.

This Prohibition Notice stopped work from taking place until safety measures had been put into place to stop workers from falling down the lift shaft. A wooden platform was then fitted across the shaft for this purpose.

Two weeks later, two employees were working from the wooden platform when it unexpectedly collapsed. This caused the men to fall four storeys down the lift shaft to the ground below. Both suffered severe injuries, with one being diagnosed with a broken back, and the other breaking both of his legs.

Three companies were prosecuted by the HSE for breaking health and safety regulation in regards to the incident. At Exeter Crown Court last week, Cowlin Construction Ltd were fined £85,000, Prestoplan Ltd were fined £35,000, and Somerset Carpenters Ltd were fined £50,000.

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