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SCAFFOLDING CONTRACTOR CAUGHT OUT ON CAMERA

Striking of scaffold lacked measures to prevent falls from height

Stretford Scaffolding Ltd has been fined after being spotted ‘striking’ scaffolding without measures to prevent scaffolders being injured in a fall in September 2012. The scaffolders were witnessed by a passing HSE inspector as they worked on row of shops in Oldham.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard that neither of the two men standing on the scaffolding platforms were wearing harnesses, despite working up to 6m above the ground. One of the workmen not a trained scaffolder and should not have been allowed to work on a partially dismantled section.

The court was also told there were also no guard rails on part of the scaffolding to prevent workers falling. The HSE inspector issued an immediate Prohibition Notice.

Case should “act as a warning” to scaffolding firms

Stretford Scaffolding Ltd, of Ciss Lane in Urmston, received a 12-month conditional discharge and was ordered to pay costs of £1,849 after admitting a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Sandra Tomlinson said:

“We are regularly called out to incidents where people have been seriously injured or even killed as a result of a fall from height. That’s why it’s vital scaffolding firms make sure safety is their top priority.

Stretford Scaffolding should never have allowed the scaffolding to be taken down without making sure workers could do the job safely. The most sensible way of achieving this would have been to use guard rails and harnesses.

The firm also put the life of one of the men at risk by allowing him to work on a partially dismantled section, despite the fact that he wasn’t a trained scaffolder. This case should act as a warning to other scaffolding firms that they risk being prosecuted if they put lives at risk.”

Comment

We understand that the court was informed that the defendant company is currently operating at a loss which may be reflected in the absence of a fine. The company was ordered to pay costs of £1,849 and  prosecution will often have other negative impacts on the business.

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