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Construction company fined over worker's fall at Dipton site
A CONSTRUCTION company with a previous good health and safety record, was today (Thursday Aug 15) fined after a worker fell and broke his arm on a building site.
David Hammel, who was fitting roof trusses at a residential care home development in Dipton, near Stanley, County Durham, fell almost 2.5m from a wall plate on which he was standing, suffering multiple fractures to the arm and elbow.
Durham Crown Court heard a truss he was trying to put in place on the roof slipped and knocked him off the wall plate, in wet conditions on July 9, last year.
The experienced 55-year-old joiner, of Langley Park, near Durham, has had titanium hinges inserted in two operations to rebuild his elbow and has been told by doctors he is unlikely to be able to return to work.
It has also hindered his hobby of fishing, in which he previously rose to become an England angling international.
Lee Fish, prosecuting, said measures to prevent the incident, including a crane to lift the trusses into place and scaffolding with boarded platform for employees to work from, were not in place.
Mr Fish said inquiries revealed another gang doing similar work on the site did have a scaffolding platform, while cranes were only used in ten per cent of such jobs, for larger truss movements.
Mr Hammel, an agency worker employed by MGM Ltd, of Walker, Newcastle, had been on site for less than a fortnight, although he was given a full induction.
MGM, which admitted a single charge of breaching safety at work regulations, was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay the £6,184 costs.
David Hercock, mitigating, said the 26-year-old company gives great priority to health and safety, and acted promptly to take remedial measures.
Judge Christopher Prince said its practice fell below what is considered “reasonably practical” in this incident.
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