Construction company, Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd was sentenced for safety breaches after worker, Mark Smith, fell 4.8 metres via an unprotected opening. 
Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 28 April 2016, Mr Smith, aged 36, was working at Stone Gappe Hall, Lothersdale, Keighley, owned by Richard McAlpine, a director of the McAlpine team of companies. Mr Smith was attaching straps to a water tank while preparing to pass it to a decrease flooring of a water tower at the property, in order to paint the floor. 
 
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) observed that Mr Smith fell through an opening that did not have fixed aspect protection. As a result, he sustained serious injuries including: a tibial shaft fracture, a distal fibular fracture, a fracture to the left patella, orbital and nasal fractures, lacerations to the face, a concessional head injury, damage to his ribs and he was hospitalised for 9 days.  
 
Mr Smith continues to suffer from psychological damage and has been unable to return to work. 
 
Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd of Eaton Court, Maylands Avenue, Hemel Hemstead, Hertfordshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work and many others Act 1974, Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The corporation has been fined £260,000 and ordered to pay £38,299 in costs. 
 
After the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Thompson commented: “Falls frequently result in life-changing or deadly injuries. In most cases, these incidents are unnecessary and ought to be prevented by means of true planning of the work to ensure that positive preventative and shielding measures are in location such as part protection or obstacles built to the correct standard. 
 
“This incident could have easily been avoided if the enterprise had undertaken a thorough threat evaluation and hooked up ample area safety round the opening to prevent falls.” 
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