Two companies fined after worker suffers fall from height

Two companies have been sentenced after an employee fell from scaffolding whilst at work.

Poole Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 28 September 2016, 32-year old self-employed builder, Jamie Butler, was working on a refurbishment project at a block of flats when he fell over 2 metres from unsecured scaffold boards onto concrete flooring below. Mr Butler, who was contracted by Brewsters, suffered a broken wrist, collarbone and head injuries as a result of the fall. He also sustained lower back injuries that required an operation.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the work was not properly planned, nor appropriately supervised or carried out in a safe manner when the incident occurred. Mr Payne, as the principal contractor, had a duty to control how the work was carried out and to ensure that the scaffolding would be correctly erected and maintained. The work was done under the control of Brewsters (Poole) Ltd who failed to plan the work properly and in a safe manner.

Jeff Payne of Milton Road, Bournemouth pleaded guilty to breaching Section 13 (1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regs 2015, and has been issued with a 60 hour community service order and ordered to pay costs of £1,000 with a victim surcharge of £125.

Brewsters (Poole) Ltd of Playfields Drive, Poole pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regs 2005, and has been fined £2700 and ordered to pay costs of £1,000 with a victim surcharge of £125.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Nicole Buchanan said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.

“Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work related fatalities/injuries in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at:
  3. HSE news releases are available at

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