Blog - Accidents at Work

Worker Falls from Height of 21 metres and Suffers Serious Injuries

Two companies have been fined after a construction worker fell a total of 21 metres to the floor below.

Steven McColgan was working for Expanded Structures Ltd at the time of the accident in October 2006. The company were sub contractors for Laing O’Rourke Contruction Ltd and were working on the construction of a new hospital building in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Mr McColgan was working as a post-tensioner, pre-stressing concrete slabs. The unsupported platform he was stood on to work broke and he fell 21 metres to the ground below. An investigation found that the structure used to temporarily support the work platform had been removed before the fall.

Mr McColgan suffered serious injuries in the fall from height accident, including severe head injuries. His injuries were so serious that they have changed his life greatly and will continue to do so.

Both companies were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive in regards to the accident. They pleaded guilty to breaking the Health and Safety at Work Act at court recently, and were both fined accordingly. Laing O’Rourke Construction Ltd was fined £50,000 while Expanded Structures Ltd was fined £75,000.

Falls from height are one of the most common accidents at work, and unfortunately tend to cause the most deaths and serious injuries. The HSE reports that 142 workers have died from falls from height in the last three years.

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