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DIRECTOR AND SUPERVISOR HELD TO ACCOUNT FOR DEATH

Court hears of deficient working practices and ‘negligent safety culture’  

Apex Scaffolding (Sussex) Ltd plus a director and supervisor have been sentenced for safety failings after a workman died from injuries sustained in a fall from scaffolding at an East Sussex construction site in 2009.

Hastings Magistrates heard (25 May) that Joseph Murphy, 31, was constructing a scaffold over-roof in St Leonards on Sea when he fell. Why or how far he fell was unclear.

HSE investigators identified a number of defects with the scaffolding including missing hand rails and incomplete scaffold platforms. The court heard that there was evidence of deficient working practices by supervisor Leslie Hustwayte and that a “negligent safety culture within the company” was found.

Magistrates were told that Prohibition Notices had previously been served on Apex Scaffolding (Sussex) Ltd and on individual employees for unsafe working practices, but the poor attitude to safety in the organisation continued.

Easy to follow guidance leaves no excuse for compromising safety

Apex Scaffolding (Sussex) Ltd of Battle; Michael Walsh of Hastings; and Leslie Hustwayte of St Leonards on Sea pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) and Regulation 6(3) of The Work at Height Regulations 2005 in relation to the safety failings. Mr Hustwayte also pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 14(2) of the same legislation.

The company was fined a total of £3,000 and ordered to pay £5,0000 in costs for its failings, Michael Walsh was fined £1,500 with £2,500 in costs and Leslie Hustwayte was fined £2,000 with costs of £2,500.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Melvyn Stancliffe said:

“HSE and the scaffolding industry have worked together to produce easy to follow guidance to help contractors ensure their scaffolding is safe. So there is no excuse for compromising safety – as was clearly the case here.

HSE takes firm action against individuals and contractors who ignore their health and safety obligations. It is essential that contractors and contract managers equip themselves with the necessary information and guidance material and apply it every time a scaffold is built.”

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One Response to “DIRECTOR AND SUPERVISOR HELD TO ACCOUNT FOR DEATH”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 1ST AUGUST 2012 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] DIRECTOR AND SUPERVISOR HELD TO ACCOUNT FOR DEATH […]