Builder fined £10,000 as apprentice fell 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 to his injury.

By Court reporter
Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 9:26 am
Selkirk Sheriff Court.

The 17-year-old male suffered several broken bones, spent four days in hospital and was off work for six weeks following the accident at Eildon Hall near Melrose, Roxburghshire … the childhood home of Princess Alice, daughter of the 7th Duke of Buccleuch .

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.

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.

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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.