A Wharfedale building firm has been fined £5,000 after a worker suffered serious back injuries in a three-metre fall.

Graham Parkin suffered broken vertebrae and has been left with long-term disability problems following the incident which took place at Burley-in-Wharfedale in November, 2008.

The accident happened while Illson (Builders & Contractors) Ltd, of North Parade, Burley and Kendall Varley Ltd - Mr Parkin's employer - were carrying out work at the Corn Mill, on Corn Mill Lane.

Mr Parkin fell more than three metres from a terrace retaining wall which, contrary to safety rules, had no guardrails in place.

The Health and Safety Executive - HSE - successfully prosecuted Illson, which was principal contractor on the building site, last Thursday for a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Illson also pleaded guilty to a charge under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 for failing to tell the HSE that construction work was due to take place.

Kendall Varley Ltd also pleaded guilty to the same Construction (Design and Management) regulations charge.

After the hearing HSE Inspector David Welsh said: "If the HSE had been correctly notified that work on the Corn Mill was going to take place, it could have inspected the site and the injury may have been averted.

"The measures in place at the time - the responsibility of Illson (Builders & Contractors) Ltd - simply did not amount to a safe system of work, and as a result Graham Parkin sustained a serious, long-term, fall-from-height injury.”

Bradford Magistrates Court heard that because both companies were the clients for the work, they should have appointed a construction design and management co-ordinator (CDMc) to notify the HSE about the construction work.

Their failure to do so meant the responsibility for non-notification reverted to them.

Illson was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,800 for both offences, while Kendall Varley Ltd was given a fine of £2,000 and costs of £1,800 for the one offence.