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Building Company Fined After Employee Suffers Serious Fall


A building company in Edinburgh has been fined after poor health and safety regulations resulted in an employee being seriously injured. The incident occurred when the worker fell from a temporary staircase whilst clearing away building materials. The open staircase had originally been protected by a guardrail, but this had been removed to complete additional work, and subsequently was not replaced.

The labourer, David Tourish, 38, was working for Walker Group Ltd on the site of new build houses in Edinburgh. The fall meant Mr Tourish spent 3 months off work after being diagnosed with bruised kidneys and two fractured ribs. Although he was eventually able to return to work, the injuries Tourish suffered have required ongoing physiotherapy.

An investigation conducted by the Health and Safety Executive concluded that an adequate risk assessment had not taken place. It was declared that the site manager was aware that the rail had been removed and failed to restore safety. The Walker Group (Scotland) Limited later pleaded guilty to breaking Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and were fined £8,000 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. HSE inspector Alastair Brown commented:

“This was a serious incident that could have been very much worse. It was also entirely avoidable. It was clear this wasn’t safe and action should have been taken to ensure the gap was closed or protected to eliminate the risk of a fall.”

The incident is one of many work-related accidents to occur due to health and safety negligence. In 2010, the HSE reported that 38 people died from falls at work. Helen Grieves of Huddersfield-based Grieves Solicitors commented:

“Unfortunately we get to see a number of work accident cases where serious injuries could have been prevented. As this accident proves, there is no room for mistakes when it comes to health and safety. ”

“Managers hold a responsibility towards their employee’s safety and if this is not honoured then they deserved to be compensated”

Based in Huddersfield, Grieves Solicitors specialise in work accident compensation claims. Helen Grieves is a qualified solicitor with an Advanced Professional Diploma in Personal Injury Litigation from Leeds Metropolitan University and a Master Degree in Advanced Litigation from Nottingham Trent University. For more information, visit their website:


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