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SCAFFOLDING BOSS JAILED FOLLOWING SITE DEATH

Uncooperative with systems and procedures ‘sorely lacking’

Mark Hayes, aged 53, (WSS Scaffolding T/A) has been jailed for 15 months for safety failings after a workman fell 14m to his death at a site in North West London in July 2012.

The sentence, passed at Southwark Crown Court, will run concurrently with the unrelated life imprisonment imposed on Mark Anthony Hayes at the Old Bailey in July this year for the murder of his brother in a family feud.

The latest conviction is the third that Mark Hayes, 53, trading as WSS Scaffolding, has received for offences arising from the death of scaffolder Grant Dunmall at Linden Gardens in Notting Hill on 2 July 2012.

Mr Hayes was fined at two separate appearances at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in January and March last year for offences relating to the non-disclosure of essential documents to support the HSE investigation.

When the documents were supplied it enabled HSE to conclude its enquiries and highlighted that Mr Hayes could and should have done more to prevent the fall.

Lack of edge protection and / or fall arrest

A trial at Southwark Crown Court was told that Mr Hayes was responsible for a tower scaffold at a domestic property. Employee, scaffolder Grant Dunmall, 25, was working on the structure when he fell, sustaining fatal injuries.

HSE established that edge protection was missing from the scaffold, and that Mr Dunmall was not provided with any other means e.g. fall arrest harness, to prevent or mitigate a fall.

Mr Hayes was found guilty after defending the case and sent to prison for 15 months for breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Speaking after the sentencing, HSE Inspector Jack Wilby commented:

“Our investigation into his tragic death was delayed for several months because of Mark Hayes’ total lack of co-operation in supporting our work. That had a knock-on impact in delaying the Coroner’s inquest, and we had no option but to prosecute before he eventually provided the documentation we needed.

His wilful obstruction only served to accentuate the fact that his systems and procedures for safely managing work at height were sorely lacking, and fell short of the standards expected from a competent scaffolder.

The bottom line here is that Mr Dunmall was killed in a preventable fall that could have been avoided.”

Grant’s family added:

“There are rules and regulations in place for very good reasons and the most important of those is to save unnecessary loss of life. If all employers and companies abide by these rules then more families could be spared the pain and heartache that we have had to experience. HSE pursued this investigation despite the lack of co-operation by Mark Hayes and we are pleased justice has been done.”

 

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