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A journalist with 13 years of experience on trade publications covering construction, local government, property, pubs, and transport.
July 11, 2017

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In-court

London firm fined £10k for fall from height

A London contractor has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000 after a 60 year-old man fell from a ladder to the lower floor of a house in St Albans.

St Albans Crown Court heard that Meadows WR (MWR) had contracted the man, Mr Kundi, to part-demolish and refurbish a property in St Albans, converting it into four maisonettes.

The incident happened on 30 May 2012, when Kundi was working on the first floor of the property. Access was provided through an opening to the first floor. He was working on his own stepladder on the first floor, when he fell, and through the opening onto the ground floor.

He broke his spine in three places and was paralysed from the chest down, spending three months in a coma and a year in hospital.

Death

Kundi died three years after the incident, in May 2015, with the cause of death being respiratory failure due to a collapsed lung and pneumonia alongside spinal injuries and paraplegia.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the opening onto the first floor had no edge protection to prevent the risk of failing through.

It was also found that MWR failed to plan, manage and monitor the work to the required standard.

Meadows WR LLP of City Road, London pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22 (1) of the Construction (Design Management) Regulations 2007.

The company has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.

High-risk activity

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector John Berezansky said: “Working at height is a high-risk activity as well as all construction work, effective controls and management is essential to avoid serious injuries and incidents like this.

“The developer Meadows WR LLP failed in its duty to ensure such measures were in place to prevent this tragic incident.”

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