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Tradesmen warned about dangerous ladders

February 24th, 2010

Public liability insurance  holders have been told about the dangers of using unfit ladders, after the death of a Lancashire builder.

Builder fell from unsecured ladder

DC Kennedy Homes was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after Ian Smith, 64, was killed following a fall from height.

The firm, from Ladybridge, Bolton, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £7,500 with additional costs of £7,500.

Manchester Crown Court heard that Mr Smith was working on a project to build six new semi-detached houses on Easedale Road when he fell five metres to the ground.

An investigation by the HSE found that DC Kennedy Homes had allowed work to be carried out on the first and second floors of the house before the stairs were fitted, with the ladder used to reach the second floor not properly secured and also missing its rubber feet.

Last year, Alan Sheldon, HSE inspector, warned firms that if in doubt about working practices, they should consult guidance which the body had produced over the years about how to work at height safely.

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