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EAGLE EYED PASSER-BY SPARKED HSE PROSECUTION

Court imposes light sentence on builder despite clear tower scaffold danger

R Hamer Ltd on Bolton has appeared in court after two workers were spotted replacing guttering in high winds and using unsafe scaffolding by a concerned member of the public who reported the danger to HSE.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard the roofing work was being carried out on a house at in Bradshaw. When the HSE inspector visited the site in February 2013 he found the men on two badly-erected scaffolding towers with an unsecured board being used as a walkway between them towers.

The court was told there was also no edge protection on the scaffolding and man was seen climbing down the outside of the scaffolding rather than using an access ladder. 

Workmen could easily have been seriously injured or killed

R Hamer Ltd, of Dene Bank in Bradshaw, received a 12-month conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £562 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Grayam Barnes said:

“I would like to thank the person who contacted HSE about the scaffolding as the men could easily have been seriously injured or even killed in a fall if the work had continued.

They were working on scaffolding with numerous missing safety features, and an unsecured board linking the two towers. The fact that they were working in high winds increased the risks to them even further.

Falls from height are one of the biggest causes of workplace deaths in the construction industry, and firms should be doing all they can to minimise the risks.”

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