Worker suffered foot fractures after 2.4m fall

A court has fined Balfour Beatty £230,000 after a worker fractured bones in his foot when he fell 2.4m from the first-floor of a house he was building.

The supporting joists of the floor were left unstable as they had not been fully installed as set out in the house designer’s instructions, an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found.  

When the floor gave way at one side the worker – one of a three-man brick laying team – fell vertically to the ground with 70 building blocks.

Balfour Beatty Regional Construction Limited (Balfour Beatty) was running the Richmond Park social housing development, Croft, Sheffield, where the incident occurred in June 2014.  

HSE Inspector Alan Sheldon, said: “It is vital that companies following design instructions and ensure that structures are stable.

“This incident could have been much more serious for a number of workers and should act as a reminder to everyone within construction – that protecting workers’ health and safety is vital in such a potentially dangerous industry.”

Balfour Beatty released a statement saying it had “expressed sincere regret” to its worker who was injured in the incident.

“The safety of the public and our workforce is always our primary concern. Balfour Beatty has since taken appropriate corrective action to take the lessons learnt from this incident and share them and improvements across our business.”

Balfour Beatty Regional Construction Limited of Wilton Road, London, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 28 (1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

Newcastle Crown Court fined the company £230,000 and ordered it to pay costs of £11,915.