The director of a construction company has been handed a suspended jail sentence after a subcontractor who was working for them was injured as a result of a stack of plasterboards toppling over on a construction site in: Thames Ditton, Surrey.

Mr Siamak Samyani, the sole director of SS Reforms Ltd, Eastcote Avenue, West Molesey, Surrey, pleaded guilty to breaching: Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974.  Mr Samyani was sentenced to 20 weeks in custody suspended for 12 months and was also fined £3,400 and ordered to pay costs of £600.

The Magistrates’ Court at Brighton were told that builders were moving sheets of plasterboard weighing 32kg each from the ground floor to the second floor of a house undergoing refurbishment when the accident took place.

As there was no staircase in place, they were stacking the plasterboard against an unsecured ladder and sliding them up to the floor above.  As a result of the process the plasterboards fell on to one of the workers resulting in a fractured pelvis.

The incident took place on 12th April 2019 and a subsequent investigation undertaken by the Health & Safety Executive discovered:

1.  There was no safe system of work in place

2.  Inadequate supervision of workers was being provided/undertaken

3.  Stairwell openings were not guarded appropriately and that they were also being inappropriately spanned with scaffold boards resting on insecure scaffold poles, resulting in a significant ‘fall risk’.

Andrew Cousins, a HSE inspector, stated after the hearing:

“This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the director to devise and implement a suitable safe system of work.  Companies should be aware that the HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those who fall below the required standards.”

As reported on the HSE Media Centre on the 16th January 2021.