A Scottish laborer broke two ribs after falling off the edge of a temporary staircase after a colleague removed the guardrail.
According to a report from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), David Tourish, 38, from Moodisburn, was working for Walker Group (Scotland), Ltd., on the site of a new build house in Ravelston Dykes, Edinburgh, when he and a colleague were asked to carry some doors upstairs to keep them out of the way during building work.(WCxKit)
A temporary staircase with half landings had been put in while the house was built, and there was a gap between one of the half landings and the wall, with a feature window behind it. For most of the project, this gap had been protected by a guardrail, but two days before Tourish's fall, this had been removed by a joiner to allow him to fix plasterboard to the wall. He did not replace it.
Tourish and a colleague started to carry the doors upstairs. They managed to carry seven or eight doors up the stairs without a problem, with Tourish's colleague in front, and him behind.
However, as they carried the next door up the stairs, Tourish stepped off the edge of the half landing and through the gap, falling nearly 10 feet to the landing below. He was taken to hospital, where he was diagnosed with bruised kidneys and two fractured ribs. Tourish was off work for three months while his injuries healed and needed physiotherapy after he went back to work.
A Health and Safety Executive investigation found that the work had not been planned properly as an adequate risk assessment had not taken place; that the site manager was aware the guardrail had been removed and should have known there was a risk to his team, and that the work was not carried out in a safe manner. Thirty-eight people in Britain died after work-related falls from height.(WCxKit)
At Edinburgh Sheriff Court Walker Group (Scotland), Ltd., pleaded guilty to breaking Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and were fined £8,000 ($13,000).
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