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CONTRACTOR PROSECUTED FOLLOWING FALL FROM SCAFFOLD

Missing edge protection results in 5m fall and maximum fine by magistrates

Stevenson’s P&H Ltd has been prosecuted for safety failings after a workman was seriously injured in a fall from dangerous scaffolding in Hertfordshire in May 2010.

The 61-year-old sustained multiple fractures in the incident at a house undergoing refurbishment. He and is yet to make a full recovery, or return to work.

Stevenage Magistrates’ Court heard (16 July) that Stevenson’s P&H Ltd was the main contractor at the property when the man fell 5m to the ground. The company provided scaffolding but failed to fit suitable edge protection in the section where the fall occurred.

Potentially life-changing injuries could have been avoided

Stevenson’s P&H Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £7,373 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE Principal Inspector Norman Macritchie said:

“Falls from height are all too common in the construction industry, with unsafe scaffolding often the root cause. The risks are well known and safe-working guidance is readily available, yet still entirely preventable incidents occur – as was the case here.

The painful, potentially life-changing injuries the worker sustained could have been avoided by the simple provision of edge protection on the section of scaffolding he fell from.

It is vital that work at height is properly planned and organised, and that all necessary precautions are taken to protect workers.”

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