HSE prosecution leads to fines after worker is paralysed by fall onto concrete floor

Two companies and a managing director have been fined a total of £170,000 after a 23-year old worker fell more than 9m, leaving him paralysed from the chest down.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) brought a prosecution against SDI Group, Steel Construction Ltd of Coventry and Richard Berwick, managing director of RM Berwick Steel Erection Services after, in February 2007, worker Wayne Simpson fell more than 9m onto a concrete floor while installing a racking system on a site in Glossop, Derbyshire. He is likely to have to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Both companies and Berwick pleaded guilty to breaches of health and safety regulations and were fined £80,000, £50,000 and £40,000 respectively, and ordered to pay a total of £47,000 costs. Berwick was also disqualified as a director for four years.

Following the hearing, Kevin Wilson, inspector for the HSE, said: “Employers must understand the importance of protecting their workforce. Companies should adequately plan for working at height and ensure fall protection and mitigation measures are in place so incidents like this do not happen.”