A NORTH WALES building firm has ended up with a £67,000 court bill after a self employed joiner suffered serious head injuries and needed more than 80 stitches to the face, following an accident during the construction of a timber framed house at Bodfari, between Mold and Denbigh.

Victim Robert Eifion Jones suffered two skull fractures, a broken nose and other injuries.

A metal beam, being moved into place by a crane, struck another beam and knocked a colleague off balance and his step ladder fell, Mold Crown Court.

He was left suspended in the air holding on to the beam, which swung and knocked another beam off its timber frame and Mr Jones was struck.

The crane driver - who could not see inside the house - heard screams and went to see what was happening and dialled 999 when he saw Mr Jones on the floor.

He was taken by ambulance to hospital following the incident in November 2015.

Williams Homes (Bala) Ltd earlier admitted a health and safety charge and was today fined £60,000 with costs of £7,233.

T.J.Crane Hire Ltd of Wrexham, was previously cleared of a HSE charge against them.

Judge Niclas Parry said Mr Jones had been struck to the head by the beam as it fell.

"It is no exaggeration to say that he could have been killed," he said.

The court was told that computer software consultants Andrew and Nancy Emslie bought a plot at Bodfari and were at the time in the process of building their own home.

Mr Emslie who was project managing it contacted Williams Homes (Bala) Ltd which designed, manufactured and installed timber framed properties and Mr Jones was the joiner who with his colleague was erecting it on the company's behalf.

Barrister Mr Adrian Farrow, prosecuting for The Health and Safety Executive the original plan to use a telehandler was abandoned and a crane was brought in.

But there was no risk assessment and no safe work method was agreed.

An ad hoc arrangement was agreed between the crane driver and Mr Jones, with Mr Emslie being used to give directions to the crane driver who could not see inside the house.

The company, which pleaded guilty at the magistrates' court, said it fully agreed that it had not implemented a risk or method statement at the site. They had a long association with Mr Jones which was regarded as a very experienced man.

It was not a deliberate breach, they had fully co-operated with the investigation and had made changes.

The company took health and safety very seriously, was a local company providing employment and which had won awards and commendations for its provision of social housing.

Judge Parry said that Mr Jones who suffered a serious injury as a result of being struck by the beam.

But he said that they would be sentenced on the basis that they were not the only ones who owed a duty to ensure the safety of Mr Jones. Therewas also a duty on the crane company and on Mr Jones himself.

The injury was the consequence of what was an inherently dangerous situation.

People had assumed that others had made the necessary checks and provided the necessary risk assessments.

During an earlier hearing Mr Jones said that he asked for the beam to be moved slowly and in a split second he turned around and the beam came down.

His last vision was of his colleague grabbing hold of the beam attached to the crane.

"He was hanging from it," he said. "I just blacked out at that point."

He sustained two fractures of the skull, an indent to his sinus, a broken nose, skin was taken off his head and he had various cuts to the face.

The injuries to his face went through the flesh and he needed about 85

stitches, he explained.