Builder falls from tractor on botched farm construction job

Grant Prior 12 years ago
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A construction worker smashed his foot after falling 15ft from a pallet fitted to the fork attachment of a tractor during a farm building job in Billingham, Stockton on Tees.

The 36-year-old worker was employed by Stephen Ramsey, trading as Up & Cover, who had been subcontracted by Waddington Buildings Limited to carry out steel erection work and cladding in August 2010.

Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard the victim was standing on a pallet fitted to a fork attachment of a tractor, which was lifted to allow him to measure and fit guttering to the building.

The tractor was being operated by Ramsey when it unexpectedly moved with the pallet in a raised position causing the worker to lose his balance and fall to the ground.

He spent 15 days in hospital after his left heel was smashed and his right ankle was fractured and treatment is still ongoing.

Stephen Ramsey, 31, of Emgate, Bedale, pleaded guilty to breaching safety regulations was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £250 costs.

Waddington Buildings Limited, of Station Road, Brompton on Swale, also pleaded guilty and was fined £3,500 and ordered to pay costs of £900.

After the case, HSE Inspector Natalie Wright said: “This incident could and should have been avoided and demonstrates how important it is for work at height to be properly planned and safely undertaken.

“The incident also highlights the need for companies engaging subcontractors to make appropriate enquiries to determine the competence of those subcontractors.”

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