Breaking News: Contractor admits health and safety offences after worker is seriously injured in North Somercotes

Delays continue following the serious collision
Delays continue following the serious collision

A painter suffered serious injuries when he fell while working on an industrial unit near Louth, a court was told today (Friday, November 6).

The 55-year-old was using a defective ladder to carry out the work at the premises of EF Biofuels in North Somercotes.

Ben Mills, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that the injured man, who was working for Nottingham-based contractor Hardev Singh, expressed concern about the state of the ladder and suggested he should use a scaffolding tower to carry out the work.

But Singh brushed aside his concerns although he agreed to hold the ladder while the worker did the job.

The ladder slipped after Singh walked away from the scene and the painter fell more than three metres to the ground.

Mr Mills said that the ladder was in a very poor state and should not have been used.

He told the court the ladder slipped on the concrete floor and the painter fell three and a half metres to the ground. He suffered a shattered right knee and a dislocated shoulder.

Singh did not initially ring for an ambulance and it was only when the landlord of the industrial units arrived that the emergency services were called.

The injured man was air-lifted to hospital in Hull where he was detained for 11-days before being transferred to another hospital in Nottingham. In total he spent almost three weeks in hospital before being discharged and a year later was still receiving treatment for his injuries.

Mr Mills said: “A ladder was used to do this task when it was the least appropriate method. It was utterly an unsuitable piece of equipment and in an obvious state of disrepair.

“It was a defective ladder and it slipped on the concrete floor. The attitude towards health and safety in this case was reckless. When concerns were raised they were brushed aside.”

Singh,33, of Norburn Crescent in Basford, Nottingham, admitted two breaches of Health and Safety at Work legislation as a result of the incident on 11 May 2013.

He was given a 12-month community order with 180-hours of unpaid work.

Judge Stuart Rafferty QC told him: “Despite the obvious danger you started to support the ladder and simply wandered off.

“It must have been blindingly obvious looking on, and should have been to you, that there was a very real risk that an accident would happen.”

Alastair Edie, defending, said that Singh had himself been affected by the incident and has not worked since.

Mr Edie said that Singh accepted responsibility for what happened and apologised.

He told the court that Singh currently relies on his wife’s income adding “Mr Singh has no disposable income. He is not in receipt of state benefits.”