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Firm faces legal action after worker fell into tank.

A CONSTRUCTION company is facing a tough penalty after a worker fell into a septic tank trench suffering multiple fractures.

David Farrow has not worked since the accident at Pickering Court, Rhostyllen, near Wrexham, in which he suffered seven pelvis fractures, two coccyx fractures and a broken right foot.

Wrexham Magistrates heard he was working for Newcastle-under-Lyme based Winnington Construction, who admitted breaking health and safety regulations.

The company pleaded guilty yesterday to failing to ensure the safety of a worker.

Although Wrexham Magistrates had the power to fine the company up to pounds 20,000, they decided the case should be sent to Crown Court for sentencing.

Yesterday the court heard Mr Farrow and colleague Carl Jackson were employed to install a septic tank at Pickering Court.

But Mr Farrow fell into the tank trench on May 2 2006 suffering serious injuries which left him in Wrexham Maelor Hospital for weeks.

He has not worked since and is expecting to receive compensation from Winnington.

Prosecuting Simon Parrington said Mr Farrow and Mr Jackson, both experienced site men, were lining up a bio-tank with a septic tank using ropes.

Mr Jackson was in the trench and Mr Farrow was standing at the edge.

Mr Farrow screamed and fell in.

"It is not exactly clear how he fell in," said Mr Parrington.

"Part of the trench may have collapsed, or Mr Farrow recalls he was hit on the legs from behind when a spoil heap of clay rolled towards him."

The accident had a terrible effect on his life said Mr Parrington.

"Winnington should have ensured the work was carried out safely," he said.

Health and safety officers were sent to the site and served a prohibition notice closing it until measures were taken to ensure it complied with regulations.


Above, the septic tank trench where David Farrow suffered multiple fractures in a fall while working for Winnington Construction. Inset, Winnington director Colin Oakley Inset picture: STACEY ROBERTS
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 15, 2008
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