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BUILDER FAILED TO ENGAGE COMPETENT SCAFFOLDERS

Firm fined after unsafe scaffolding used on home extension project

G and G Contracts (Fife) Ltd has has been prosecuted over dangerous scaffolding found by HSE inspectors during an unannounced visit  to a site in Culross, Fife on 15 April 2010.

Dunfermline Sheriff Court heard (13 December) that work to construct a single storey house extension had reached the stage where roof tiling, the installation of a skylight and other work to make it wind and watertight remained outstanding.

A scaffold was in the process of being constructed by workers employed by the company. The scaffold appeared incomplete and the inspectors established that those erecting the scaffold were not trained or competent to do so. The scaffold was also being used by two workers from a plumbing and heating sub-contractor.

Further inspection revealed deficiencies with the scaffolding including missing guard rails, bracing, and toeboards. The ledgers were incorrectly placed and an access ladder was not properly secured and did not extend to a sufficient height.

Scaffolding posed a clear danger

G and G Contracts (Fife) Ltd was fined £2,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of The Work at Height Regulations 2005.

After sentencing, HSE inspector Mike Orr said:

“Falls from height are one of the main causes of fatalities and serious injuries in the workplace, and employers cannot afford to ignore the risks.

Thankfully no-one was injured as a result of the deficiencies in the scaffolding at this site, which posed a clear danger to those who were required to use it in order to work at height.

This case should serve as a warning to companies that HSE will not hesitate to take enforcement action when workers are unnecessarily put at risk.”

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