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Two construction companies Galliford Try Construction and Parkstone Group have been fined thousands of pounds after a contract worker from Coventry fell over six metres through a badly-covered hole in the floor.
33-year old Ian Howells punctured his lung, broke his ribs and fractured his pelvis in three places when he stepped onto what he thought was a pile of wood covered by plastic in November 2010. Bedridden for two months, he was unable to work for a year after the incident which happened at Edgbaston cricket ground.
The fall was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which found that the construction companies should have done more to prevent the accident. No information had been provided to anyone working on site in relation to the risks posed by covered voids. There was also no safe access to the room where work needed to be undertaken.
Both firms pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Birmingham Magistrates' Court fined each firm £13,500 and ordered them to pay £3,345 in costs.
After the hearing on Monday, HSE inspector Paul Thompson said: “This incident was entirely preventable. The system of work adopted by Galliford Try and Parkstone Group was unplanned and unsafe. Workers were not provided with a safe means by which to do their jobs, or the right equipment to help them do it. As a result Mr Howells has suffered life-changing injuries that he will never fully recover from.”