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CATALOGUE OF TOWER SCAFFOLD ERRORS ENDS IN TRAGEDY

Prosecution highlights impact of poorly managed low height access towers

CME Ceilings Ltd from Merseyside has been fined after a workman suffered life-threatening injuries when he fell from scaffolding at a sports centre in January 2011.

The 43-year-old man suffered a brain haemorrhage, fractured skull, collapsed lung plus a broken collar bone, ribs, wrist and fingers. He was in intensive care for two weeks and his brain injury has had a long-term impact on his personality. He has also been unable to return to work.

Firms must not “cut corners” and use the right equipment for the job

Liverpool Magistrates heard (18 September 2012) that the firm were engaged to install a suspended ceiling at the sports centre. The company had intended to use a scissor lift but did not arrange for the equipment to be delivered to the site and a scaffold tower was used instead. The court heard that:

  • Brakes – wheel brakes on the tower were not applied to stop it moving;
  • Edges – there was no edge protection to prevent falls;
  • Components – the tower comprised parts from different manufacturers; and
  • Condition – parts were in a poor or damaged condition.

The man fell some 2m to the concrete floor below when the tower started to move across the room as he was working.

CME Ceilings Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to ensure the safety of employees. The company, of Domville Road in Broad Green, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £5,000 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Mark Baker said:

“One of CME Ceiling’s employees has suffered severe physical and mental injuries that will affect him for the rest of his life.

The scaffolding tower the company provided simply wasn’t up to the job and his life was put in danger the minute he started to climb it.

This case should act as a warning to firms not to cut corners and to make sure they use the right equipment for the job they’re doing.”

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One Response to “CATALOGUE OF TOWER SCAFFOLD ERRORS ENDS IN TRAGEDY”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT UPDATE 28th NOVEMBER 2012 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] CATALOGUE OF TOWER SCAFFOLD ERRORS ENDS IN TRAGEDY […]