A company has been fined after an apprentice electrician injured their back in a fall whilst at work.
Richard O’Connor was just an 18 year old apprentice when the accident happened in February 2010. The incident occurred when he was undertaking electrical installation work at a Youth Centre with his colleagues.
Mr O’Connor was on a narrow timber walkway in the roof area of the building when he stumbled. He landed on the plasterboard ceiling which immediately gave way under him. He somehow managed to grab hold of a timber joist to stop himself falling, but after a few seconds, this joist gave way too.
Mr O’Connor fell over five metres, landing on the floor below and suffering serious injury. He fractured three vertebrae in his back, an injury that kept him off work for two months.
The HSE found that his employers – Roberts and Prowse Ltd – had not carried out a specific risk assessment for the work, and therefore had not put in place measures to reduce the risk of a fall.
The company went to Swindon Magistrates’ Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to breaking health and safety regulations in regards to the accident. They were fined £5,000.