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Friday 24th
posted by Morning Star in Britain

by Mark Blacklock

A NATIONAL building firm linked to blacklisting has been fined £200,000 after a worker fell to his death due to poor safety conditions.

Specialist construction company London Fenestration Trades was contracted by notorious blacklister Sir Robert McAlpine to carry out repair works to a glass front above a Debenhams store in Exeter in November 2011.

Philip Evans, who was tasked with attaching fixings, plummeted 13 feet through an opening onto paving stones below after walking along the glass canopy. He was rushed to hospital with serious injuries and later died.

During the Health and Safety Executive prosecution, Exeter Crown Court heard that the opening had been created during previous maintenance works when a pane of glass was removed from the canopy and not replaced.

The subsequent HSE investigation found that the mobile platform provided was inadequate for the work being carried out and unsafe as there was no edge protection.

HSE inspector Jonathan Harris said: “The risks associated with work at height are very well known and recognised in readily available guidance.

“Planning and effective co-ordination between contractors is a requirement of the relevant safety regulations. Without such planning and sufficient assessment of risk, it is foreseeable that working at height will expose operatives to risks to their safety.”

Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act. It was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £17,790 costs.

London Fenestration Trades Ltd also pleaded guilty, but the court could only notionally fine it £200,000, with £17,790 costs, because the firm is in liquidation.