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THREE DIRECTORS PROSECUTED WITH THEIR COMPANIES

Prosecutions after fall from scaffold leaves workman confined to wheelchair

Three contractors from Essex have been fined a total of £53,000 after a roofworker fell 5m from scaffolding on a domestic property in Loughton on January 5 2010.

Jeremy Bishop, 46 from Romford, suffered severe injuries to his head, chest and back. He spent three weeks in intensive care before being transferred to a specialist spinal injuries unit for 8 months. He is now confined him to a wheelchair.

V.Page Building Services Ltd of Epping was contracted to build a home extension and the firm subsequently engaged roofing contractor Quality Roofs Ltd and scaffolding contractor Access Specialists (Philip Blakeman T/A).

HSE investigators found that safety of the scaffold was not checked and intermediate guard rails (mid rails) had not been installed along the rear elevation of the scaffolding and there was nothing in place to prevent falls from the gable ends of the house.

Simple industry standard safety precaution absent

Director of V.Page Building Services Ltd, Vincent Page, 46, of Ongar admitted breaching Regulations 8(a) and 12(4) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. Mr Page was fined £20,000 with £8,000 costs.

Quality Roofs Ltd and its director Alan Tyler, 64, of Chingford pleaded guilty to the same offences. The company was fined £10,000 with £4,000 costs. Mr Tyler was fined £20,000 with costs of £4,000.

Philip Blakeman, 58, trading as Access Specialists, of Ongar, admitted breaching Regulation 8(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £3,000 with costs of £2,000.

HSE Inspector Adam Hills said after the case:

“The injuries Mr Bishop sustained were life changing. He was in hospital for eight months, is still undergoing rehabilitation and will be in a wheelchair for the rest of this life.

This could have been prevented if the companies and individuals had taken a few simple industry standard safety precautions by installing the guard rails as edge protection.

Falls from height are one of the biggest killers in the workplace. Employers need to be aware of the risks it poses and ensure that their staff are properly protected.”

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