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    WORK AT HEIGHT PROSECUTION

    Unsafe scaffold lands contractor in court despite no accident  

    A contractor has been ordered to pay over £3k in fines and costs after HSE inspectors observed roof work in progress from an unsafe scaffold. There was a risk of falling up to 4m caused by an absence of effective planning. The HSE Inspector said the scaffold had “been altered in such a way that workers were at risk of falling… boards had been removed from the eaves scaffold platform to make an improvised platform”.

    Comment: Falls from scaffolds often occur when unauthorised alterations are made to a scaffold that was originally safe. Principal Contractors need to anticipate all planned uses of a scaffold and coordinate with sub-contractors to ensure that any alterations are made, before work starts and by those qualified to do so. This case also sends a message to sub contractors that if you make unauthorised changes to a scaffold you are creating risk and could also end up in court whether or not an accident occurs.

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