Builder crushed by plasterboard stack

Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard how builders were moving sheets of plasterboard weighing 32kg each from the ground floor to the second floor of a house undergoing refurbishment.

As there was no staircase in place, they were stacking the plasterboard against an unsecured ladder and sliding them up to the floor above. During the process the plasterboards fell on one of the workers, fracturing his pelvis.

The incident took place on 12th April 2019.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive found that there was no safe system of work in place and the workers were not being adequately supervised. The stairwell openings were not guarded and they were partially spanned with scaffold boards resting on insecure scaffold poles, creating a significant fall risk.

Siamak Samyani, the sole director of SS Reforms Ltd of Eastcote Avenue, West Molesey, Surrey, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974.

He was sentenced to 20 weeks in custody suspended for 12 months, fined £3,400 and ordered to pay costs of £600.

HSE inspector Andrew Cousins said after the hearing: “This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the director to devise and implement a suitable safe system of work.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those who fall below the required standards.”

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