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Personal injury specialists welcome tough fine imposed on DIY retailer following HSE investigation into construction site accident

Posted: 20/03/2017

Leyland SDM (LSDM) Limited, the DIY and decorating retail trader, has been investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and fined £450,000 after four workers fell more than three and a half metres whilst carrying a ventilation unit, suffering multiple injuries.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how LSDM had been in the process of redeveloping a warehouse in Wembley when the workers tried to move a ventilation unit into position, but as they attempted to do so the working platform became overloaded and gave way. The HSE investigation found that neither the work at height nor the lifting operations were planned properly or in accordance with the applicable health and safety legislation.

During the investigation, it was discovered that the company had failed to manage the risks when working at height and carrying out the lifting operation. The company also failed to have the right level of trained personnel and supervision in place to carry out these tasks safely and effectively. The conclusion of the investigation was that the accident and consequent injuries were as a result of these failures on the part of LSDM and should not have occurred had proper adherence to safety requirements been met.

LSDM pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Regulation 4 (1) of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992. The company has been fined £450,000 and ordered to pay costs.

Philippa Luscombe, partner in the personal injury team at Penningtons Manches LLP, comments: “We regularly deal with employers’ liability claims involving injuries suffered by employees and sub contractors due to serious disregard for the safety legislation that is in place in the UK. This incident is a clear example of the consequences. We hope that the investigation and the substantial fine will not just influence the way that LSDM manages health and safety on its sites, but also act as a warning to other companies to ensure safety is a priority.”

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 419867.

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