Companies fined after Suffolk builder breaks back

A CONSTRUCTION company and a building owner have been fined after a Suffolk builder broke his back when he fell from a factory roof in Hertfordshire.

Danny Langdon, from Sudbury, suffered fractured vertebrae when he fell seven metres on Christmas Eve 2008.

The 63 year old was working for Hartog Hutton Ltd when he fell through a factory roof light, hit a gantry crane and landed on machinery below. Mr Langdon has not worked since the incident.

Hartog Hutton, who are registered in Chandlers Ford, Hampshire, but based in Bury St Edmunds, appeared at St Albans Crown Court yesterday and admitted breaching three health and safety regulations.

The company was fined �10,000 and ordered to pay �7,076 in costs.

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Fluorocarbon Company Ltd, of Caxton Hill, Hertford, which had contracted Hartog Hutton to carry out repairs to its factory roof, appeared at East Hertfordshire Magistrates’ Court in Hertford on April 26 and admitted one charge. The company received fines of �5,000 with �5,195 in costs.

Health and Safety inspector John Berezansky said Mr Langdon was lucky to be alive.

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He said: “This incident was entirely avoidable and should not have happened. Working at height is one of the most obvious and well known dangers for those involved in repairing or maintenance of buildings.

“More than 4,000 employees suffered serious injury after falling from height last year and 15 were killed.”

He said that employers needed to plan ahead and asses potential risks before carrying out any work that involved heights.

He advised all companies to find out more about the risks in the work place by visiting its website at

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