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PRINCIPAL CONTRACTOR FAILED TO ‘PLAN MANAGE & MONITOR’

Tower scaffold fall reveals management failures by PC and Contractor

Contractor M-tech Engineering Limited and Principal Contractor Thomas Long & Sons Limited have been fined after a worker injured his back when he fell 9m from a mobile tower scaffold.

The incident occurred during installation of a steel staircase at a building in Nottingham on 15 April 2009. The injured workman fractured two vertebrae and was off work for almost seven months.

Thomas Long & Sons Limited were the Principal Contractor managing an extensive refurbishment project whilst M-tech Engineering Limited were contracted to install the staircase.

HSE investigators found the scaffold tower had not been erected to the manufacturer’s instructions or industry guidelines, the tower was supported on a platform that was not sufficiently rigid to provide a suitable base and the working platform was not fitted with adequate guardrails to prevent falls.

Work must be properly planned and supervised

M-tech Engineering Limited of Nottingham pleaded guilty to breaching HSW Act Section 2(1) for failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees. The company was fined £8,000 and ordered it to pay prosecution costs of £4,000.

Thomas Long & Sons Limited of Nottingham pleaded guilty to breaching CDM Regulation 22(1)(a) for failing to plan, manage and monitor construction phase of the project such it was carried out without risks to health and safety. The company was fines £6,000 with costs of £3,000.

HSE inspector Kevin Wilson said:

“Work at height should be properly planned and a safe system of work developed with access equipment provided that is suitable for the task.

The system of work in use at the time of the incident put operatives at risk of falls into the stairwell from the landings, the part installed staircase and from the mobile scaffold tower and supporting platform which did not provide a safe working platform.

As a result a man suffered serious injuries. It was only chance that his injuries were not more severe as he fortuitously landed on a surface that absorbed the energy of his fall.

Falls from height are the biggest cause of workplace deaths and it’s crucial that employers make sure work is properly planned, appropriately supervised and that sufficient measures are put in place to protect staff from the risks.”

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3 Responses to “PRINCIPAL CONTRACTOR FAILED TO ‘PLAN MANAGE & MONITOR’”

  1. Lastest Pc Assembly Instructions News | News Maniac Says:

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  2. Firms Fined After Worker Falls - Build.co.uk | The Art of Placement Says:

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  3. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 9TH MAY 2012 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] PRINCIPAL CONTRACTOR FAILED TO ‘PLAN MANAGE & MONITOR’ […]