Shipyard apprentice falls from height, is seriously injured

Serious injuries were sustained by one Cornwall native working as a shipyard apprentice when he fell from scaffolding at a Falmouth dry dock, it was recently reported.

David Banks, from St Austell, had been only nineteen years of age at the time, and had been working to strip away plastic sheeting that had been used to protect a boat as it was being painted.  The accident, which involved plummeting nearly two metres from the unsecured scaffolding, left the teenage employee suffering serious injuries to his knee in the fall, according to personal injury lawyers familiar with the case.

However, as young Mr Banks had been working at removing the plastic sheeting from approximately two metres off the ground, the scaffolding boards under his feet tipped.  This sent him falling to the floor of the dock below him and resulted in his injuries, and also resulted in the Health and Safety Executive launching an investigation, revealing that the teen had not been aware that the scaffolding boards were not secured and that there was a distinct lack of any sort of safety rails in order to aid in the prevention of any falls from height.

Falmouth-based Pendennis Shipyard Ltd was prosecuted by the HSE in a court hearing, leading to the firm being given a fine of £6,000 after it admitted that its breach of health and safety regulations played a role in the young man’s injuries.  The lead HSE inspector on the investigation added, after the hearing, that the firm had neglected to provide a safe working environment for its workers, and was lucky that Mr Banks’ personal injury at work not more serious than they actually were.

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