Court fines Murray Construction and Development after worker falls 2.8m onto concrete floor

A Sunderland building firm has been fined £10,000 after one of its workers was injured falling 2.8m from rafters onto a concrete floor.

South Tyneside Magistrates' Court fined Murray Construction and Development Ltd £10,000 after the company pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

It was also ordered to pay a compensatory award of £5,000 to the injured worker, £1,414 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Three employees of Murray Construction were building a house and moving one of the rafters to accommodate a roof window. One man was standing on a joiner's stool and lost his balance. He fell through a gap onto the concrete floor 2.8m below. He suffered serious injuries and has been unable to return to work since the incident.

HSE Inspector Michael Brown, who investigated the incident, said:

"Companies must assess the risks from work that they are undertaking at height and make sure that suitable measures to prevent a fall are in place. All work at height should be planned, organised, supervised and carried out by competent persons.

The HSE is currently running a campaign aimed at raising awareness of the consequences of falls, slips and trips in the workplace. Called "Shattered Lives" the construction industry is one of the main areas being targeted. Every week, one person dies from a slip, trip or fall at work with another 3,750 people seriously injured last year.