Developer fined after worker seriously injured

A property company in Powys has been fined after a contractor suffered major internal injuries when he fell through a floor and was hit by a falling concrete slab.

Gruffydd Charles Beynon-Thomas was prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive after Andrew Wilding, 47, of Newtown was hurt while working at the Plas Maldwyn site in Caersws on 23 May 2008.

Caernarfon Crown Court heard that Wilding and his colleague were using pneumatic drills to break up an unsupported concrete floor on the first storey of a former hospital outbuilding being converted into residential accommodation.

During the breaking work, the floor split and both men fell through to the ground below. A section of the broken floor slab fell on Wilding, causing life-threatening internal injuries.

The HSE investigation discovered the defendant had failed to ensure the safety of workers by not properly planning structural work at an early stage.

Gruffydd Charles Beynon-Thomas, trading as Plas Maldwyn Developments, of Ty Gwyn Road, Caersws, Powys, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was fined £7,500 and ordered to pay costs of £7,500.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Chris Wilcox said: "People carrying out building refurbishment must ensure that structural work is properly planned and advice sought from a competent person, for example a structural engineer, at an early stage.

"The consequences in failing to recognise the risks inherent in this type of work can be significant. This was a major incident that could easily have been fatal."

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