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SCAFFOLDER FATALITIES ON MAJOR AND MINOR PROJECTS

Inquests hear how deaths occurred during scaffolding works on two projects

Two recent inquests illustrate the risk faced during scaffolding operations on projects at both ends of the size spectrum.

Fatal fall on prestige development in Wales

An Swansea inquest jury has heard how a scaffolder died after falling some 20m from a building in January 2008. Self-employed scaffolder Russell Samuel was working for Febrey Concrete of Bristol at Swansea Marina’s Ferrara Quay development.

The development included the Meridian Quay residential tower which is Wales’ tallest residential building. Mr Samuel was working on a smaller tower nearby known as Ferrara B.

Mr Samual always wanted to be a scaffolder, following in the footsteps of his late father and brother. He worked as a scaffolder for nearly 25 years. He obtained a certificate in advanced scaffolding in 2006 and started at Meridian Quay in March 2007.

The jury was told that on January 22, 2008 he was dismantling scaffolding ready for the stairs and roof to be finished. He was wearing protective clothing and a safety harness. He fell down a shaft which was due to house the Eastern stairwell in the building.

Workman died erecting scaffolding on home refurb

An inquest in Hastings has heard how a workman fell whilst engaged in erecting scaffolding on a domestic project in St Leonards. The jury were told how Joseph Murphy, aged 31, working for Apex Scaffolding fell to a concrete  flooron August 10 2010.

Mr Murphy had undertaken this work for nine years, and was working with two other men. Their task was to provide scaffolding for a loft conversion project. Mr Hustwayte, a trained scaffolder with 30 years experience, was in charge of the small team, and said:

“Joe had been working with the firm a long time. He knew what he was doing.”

He told the inquest he heard a crash of metal and saw Mr Murphy lying on the ground at the foot of the ladder. It was not clear if he fell from a ladder or from the scaffolding.

The coroner used the forensic report to suggest the injuries must have been caused by a 20ft fall. A verdict of accidental death was recorded.

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