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EXCAVATION WORK CAUSED SCAFFOLD COLLAPSE AND FALL

Two workmen injured when scaffolding collapsed on Sussex building site

The partners of principal contractor Select Estates have been prosecuted after two roofers fell more than 3m when scaffolding collapsed due to excavation work near it’s base.

Brighton Magistrates heard how a number of roofers were standing on scaffolding between two dwellings on a new housing development. The scaffolding was also loaded with tiles.

At the base of the scaffold two ground workers began excavating a drainage trench which undermined the base and caused the scaffold to collapse. One man injured his lower back whilst another received cuts to his head and shoulder muscle damage. One of the injured men says the incident affected him “deeply” and admitted to still being nervous about climbing scaffolding to do his work.

Work activities not coordinated

The court heard that the incident was caused by a number of parties carrying out their tasks with little regard for others in terms of co-operation and co-ordination. The scaffold was overloaded with people and building materials and there was no suitable site supervision or management.

John Marton, Principal Contractor of Select Estates Ltd of Hurst Green pleaded guilty to regulation 22(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 at court today (15 March). He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,832.

Martin Taylor, Principal Contractor of the same company pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 22(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 at court today. He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,832.

HSE Inspector Russell Smith said:

Falls from height are the biggest causes of workplace deaths and it’s crucial that employers make sure work is properly planned, supervised and carried out to protect staff from these risks.”

In this case, it is extremely fortunate that nobody was killed, however, it could have been so much worse. If there was adequate management of the construction site, this incident could easily have been prevented.”

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