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SCAFFOLDING CONTRACTOR CAUGHT ON CAMERA

Balancing on a single rail some nine metres above ground

The owner of a Surrey-based scaffolding firm has been prosecuted after he and an employee were captured on camera balancing on a single rail some 9m above ground.

Photographs of the incident at a three-storey office in Horley on 4 February 2014 were taken by a member of the public and sent to HSE.

Redhill Magistrates (4 Nov) heard how Jason Hewett (T/A Crest Scaffolding Services) put his own life and the lives of two scaffolders in jeopardy by failing to have any fall prevention measures in place.

HSE told the court that one photo clearly depicts two workers balancing on a single pole with no guardrails to prevent them from falling from a dangerous height. Neither of the men wore a harness attached to a secure anchor point.

Failed to follow basic safety precautions

Jason Hewett, of Horley, Surrey, was fined £265 and ordered to pay £511 in costs after admitting a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Amanda Huff said:

“Jason Hewett put his own life at risk and the lives of two other workers by carrying out this scaffolding job in a totally unsafe manner. Anyone falling from nine metres would likely be killed and that type of disregard for safety is totally unacceptable.

Mr Hewett failed to follow basic safety precautions and heed the professional guidance available to scaffolding companies. Where practical when erecting scaffolding, they should work from a fully-boarded scaffold and guardrail. If this is not possible, all scaffolders should wear clipped-on harnesses.”

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