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STEEL AND CLADDING CONTRACTOR PROSECUTED

Workman fell accessing tower scaffold mounted on freight container 

Balsham (Buildings) Ltd from Cambridgeshire has been fined after a workman suffered severe head injuries and lost his sight in one eye. John Ingram was injured whilst working on a project refurbishing an agricultural building in Hertfordshire in March 2010.

The tower scaffold he was using had been erected on the top of a freight container. He fell to the ground while “trying to climb down” causing fractures, cuts, bruising and he was in a coma for several days. 

Scissor lift had been used previously

Balsham (Buildings) Ltd, structural steel fabricators and cladding contractors admitted to two breaches of health and safety legislation: Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for which is was fined £7,000 and Work at Height Regulations 2005 – Regulation 4(1) for which it was fined £7,000. Magistrates also ordered the company to pay £8832.30 in prosecution costs.

HSE inspectors found that the internal works on the project had been planned and undertaken safely, with a scissor lift provided to enable employees to work at height – the same had not been provided for the external works.

HSE Inspector John Berezansky said:

“Incidents like Mr Ingram’s fall are entirely avoidable. Falling from height is one of the most obvious and well-known dangers on a construction site.

A lax attitude to health and safety in one of the more dangerous industries is not acceptable, especially when so many incidents are completely avoidable by taking commonsense actions and precautions.

As always, HSE will not hesitate to take action if we find poor practice that is putting lives at risk.”

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