A business has been hit with a fine after one of its workers suffered internal injuries that at least one expert believes could have proved to be fatal.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Gruffydd Charles Beynon-Thomas following the event in May 2008. It involved employee Andrew Wilding, 47, falling through a floor and being hit by a concrete slab that resulted in him attaining major injuries.
Mr Wilding was working with a colleague at the time of the incident and the pair had been tasked with using pneumatic drills to destroy a concrete floor. They were working on the first floor of a former hospital building that was being converted into residential estate.
Disaster struck when the floor split during the work and both of the men plummeted to the ground below. Mr Wilding was struck by a piece of the concrete and sustained life-threatening injuries.
HSE inspector Chris Wilcox said: "People carrying out building refurbishment must ensure that structural work is properly planned and advice sought from a competent person, for example a structural engineer, at an early stage.
"The consequences in failing to recognise the risks inherent in this type of work can be significant. This was a major incident that could easily have been fatal."
Such work should always be carefully planned and supervised, minimising the risk of an injury occurring. The HSE's investigation found the company had not done enough to prepare for the structural work it was undertaking, particularly at an early stage of the process.
Gruffydd Charles Beynon-Thomas was handed a £7,500 fine and told it must also pay costs of the same amount, after it pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Its conviction could serve as an important example of what can happen when firms get it wrong in terms of safety and planning for major works, perhaps acting as the trigger for others to get it right in the future.