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HOMES DEVELOPER FINED FOR DANGEROUS SCAFFOLD

Routine HSE inspection ends in £10k fine for builder

W M E Naylor & Son (Angus William Naylor T/A) has been ordered to pay over £10k in fines and prosecution costs after using an unsafe scaffold found during a routine HSE inspection.

The firm was prosecuted under WAH Regulations 2005 – Reg 6(3) at Bridlington Magistrates Court. The court heard that during a routine inspection in April 2009, the HSE witnessed persons working on scaffolding that was unsafe and posed a risk of fatal or serious injury

Further investigation revealed that during most of that month those working at the new housing development were at risk of falls of up to 5m. The internal and external scaffolding was poorly erected and there was no edge protection in place.

Geoffrey Clark HSE Inspector said: “Falls from height remain the largest cause of fatal and serious injuries in the construction industry. The scaffolding at the Sylvan Lea construction site was dangerous and people should not have been allowed to use it.

“The risks of working at height, and the measures required, particularly with scaffolding, are well documented. We hope today’s prosecution serves as a reminder to all companies using scaffolding that they need to ensure that it is erected by trained and competent persons, and that it is fit for for purpose.”

Comment: This case highlights the fact that HSE will prosecute where there has been no injury, if warranted by the risk.

This is to be welcomed since most HSE prosecutions are initiated following accidents thereby giving the impression that, if an accident is avoided, unsafe acts and conditions will not lead to prosecution.

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