Construction firm fined for worker's fall at new cinema in West Bromwich

A firm has been fined after a worker was seriously injured when he fell from a staircase during the construction of a new cinema in the Black Country.

The Odeon cinema in West Bromwich
The Odeon cinema in West Bromwich

The 52-year-old man suffered a broken collarbone in the fall while building work was underway for the Odeon Cinema, at West Bromwich's £200 million New Square development.

He was working for Ereconomic Construction Limited, based in Wolverhampton, when the incident happened on May 31 last year.

The firm yesterday pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £1,033 in costs having been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive for failing to ensure sufficient measures were in place to prevent or mitigate the fall.

Sandwell Magistrates’ Court heard that Ereconomic Construction Limited had been contracted by Odeon Cinemas to fit out the new complex.

The injured man from Leigh, Greater Manchester, who has asked not to be named, was a sub-contractor employed by the company to install the balustrades on a staircase within the cinema’s lobby.

There was some delay in the installation of the balustrades, which meant that the temporary edge protection at the side of the staircase at level one was still in place when a floor system was being installed, the court heard.

To allow the installation of the floor, the temporary edge protection was removed.

However, there was nothing implemented in the meantime to prevent falls over the side of the staircase, magistrates were told.

While attempting to retrieve some tools from the first floor landing, the worker fell one metre or around three ft over the side of the staircase.

The court was told the man was unable to work for three months as a result of the injuries he sustained.

Ereconomic Construction Limited, of Salisbury Street, pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £1,033 in costs.