Contractor fined after apprentice plunged 10 metres through atrium

A BUILDING contractor has been fined £10,000 after an apprentice joiner was severely injured falling through a fragile glass atrium and plunging 10 metres.

The 17-year-old male suffered several broke bones and spent four days in hospital and was off work for six weeks following the accident at Eildon Hall near Melrose – the childhood home of Princess Alice who was the late Duke of Edinburgh’s mother.

At Selkirk Sheriff Court Sam Templeton – based at Heathhall, near Dumfries – pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act in the working at height regulations by failing to plan and supervise to ensure safety.

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The 64-year-old was in charge of the renovation work at the four-storey Victorian property at the foot of the Eildon Hills but said he was unaware that a sub-contractor was sending a young and inexperienced apprentice to carry out work.

Templeton failed to put in protective measures including fall arrest netting, crash decking and scaffolding under a fragile surface.

Sheriff Peter Paterson said he regarded the offence at the lower end of the scale as Templeton had been advised by the sub-contractor that an experienced employee would carry out the job and noted Templeton’s business had recorded losses in recent years.

The fine was reduced from £15,000 to £10,000 due to the guilty plea.

Border Telegraph | News