Housebuilder pleads guilty to breach of HSE regulations that led to bricklayer being crushed

Yorkshire-based housebuilder, Strata Homes, has been fined £30,000, after a bricklayer was paralysed from the waist down when he was crushed by a steel beam.

Anton Burrows, 24, was working on the Suede Development site in Huddersfield on 7 April 2009 when a steel beam weighing over 660 pounds fell on him. He had been helping a forklift truck driver lift it onto two brick pillars. Once in place, the forks of the truck caught the beam as it was moving away, dislodging it before it fell on top of Burrows.

He suffered extensive injuries, including spinal damage, and is now paralysed from the waist down.

Strata Homes, of Quay Point, Doncaster, pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 8 of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.

Health & Safety Executive inspector Alasdair Green said after the hearing: “The terrible injuries sustained in this incident have changed the way of life for Mr Burrows and his family for ever.

“Had the lifting operation been properly planned and supervised, in line with the regulations, the Approved Code of Practice and HSE’s guidance, this devastating incident which could have very easily killed someone, would have been avoided.

“Today’s prosecution must serve to remind all employers of their duties and responsibilities in protecting workers during lifting operations so that others do not suffer in this way.”