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A construction form has been fined Â£10,000 after one of its workers fell down a lift shaft.A Northern Irish construction form has been fined after one of its workers sustained serious injuries when he fell down a lift shaft.
Terry Moore, from the town of Wisbech, was working on a project at a Rose Maternity Hospital in Cambridge on March 29th 2012. The 51-year-old is a fully-qualified lift engineer and had been instructed to install components for the hospital lift on the third floor of the site's annex.
He was preparing the the upper end of the lift shaft and was transporting the equipment needed to complete the task from the ground floor of the site.
While reaching into the shaft to retrieve some of these tools, Mr Moore fell through a gap in the lift. After tumbling a nine-metre drop, the worker sustained a range of injuries.
He was discovered by a subcontractor at the bottom of the drop and later assessed by medical professionals, who treated him for fractures to his shoulder, pelvis, lower spinal cord and left foot.
The employee was unable to work for several months, but has since recovered from his injuries. The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which found Farrans Construction to be guilty of safety failings.
Having pleaded guilty, the Belfast-based firm was £10,000 for breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and also ordered to pay £5,225 in prosecution costs.
According to the legislation, lift shafts at such sites should include a set of guard rails that are at least 950 millimetres above any area where there is risk that someone may fall from height. The court heard that the rails Farrans has in place were only 908 millimetres above that level.
HSE inspector John Berezansky explained the measures regarding the guard rails are an industry standard that have been in place for a considerable amount of time, therefore the company can have few grievances about its prosecution.
He commented: "Construction work is a high-risk activity where falls account for a large proportion of all deaths and serious injuries. The end result here is that Mr Moore, an experienced engineer, sustained horrific injuries and could easily have been killed."