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    SCAFFOLD POLE INJURES PASSER-BY

    Contractor fined after scaffold pole hits pedestrian

    Sky Scaffolding (Midlands) Ltd of Warwick has been ordered to pay in excess of £5k in fines and prosecution costs for failing to take suitable and sufficient steps to prevent any person being struck by any falling material or object liable to cause personal injury. The case follows an incident in May 2008 when a scaffold pole fell and injured a pedestrian on the pavement outside a public house in Coventry City Centre. 

    HSE Inspector Carol Southerd said: “The work being undertaken that morning, on the pavement, placed pedestrians and workers at risk because the company had failed to take more-robust steps to ensure that the system of work was effective to protect the public from simple human error such as dropped materials or tools during scaffolding erection. The injured lady was immobilised for several weeks and still suffers from anxiety but it could have been so much worse if the pole had struck her head or body.”

    Comment: The reported facts suggest the scaffolding contractor involved made significant efforts to avoid this incident. However, regulators and the courts take an ‘absolute’ view where the public is concerned. If it is impossible to prevent poles falling then persons must be excluded from the areas of risk below.

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