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SCAFFOLD COLLAPSE ON LOFT CONVERSION PROJECT

Overloading of structure with materials triggered collapse

Lofty Creations UK Ltd has been fined after an employee was injured in a dramatic scaffold collapse outside a property in North London in October 2013. When the structure buckled a “chute” was effectively created which sent the worker and an array of materials crashing 6m to the ground below.

Thomas Pastura,  aged 24, fractured ribs and was fortunate not to have suffered more serious or even fatal injuries. HSE identified clear failings with the design of the scaffold.

Westminster Magistrates heard (11 Mar)  the scaffold was used to access the roof of a two-storey property where the loft conversion was underway. HSE established that the weight of the materials on the structure at the time of collapse was between 3-3.5 tonnes. The loading was in excess of load the structure could safely support.

The company routinely worked  at height and should have known the property required a scaffold built to an approved design by a specialist structural engineer.

Scaffold should be designed by a competent specialist

Lofty Creations UK Ltd, of Acton, London was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay a further £1,019 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

After the hearing HSE Inspector Simon Hester said:

“The collapse would not have occurred had the scaffold been designed by a competent specialist to carry loads of 3.5 tonnes with an overhanging cantilever to accommodate the bay window.

That didn’t happen and Mr Pastura suffered a painful injury as a result – although he is perhaps fortunate not to have come off a lot worse.

Lofty Creations failed to adequately plan and design the scaffold that collapsed; failed to manage the storage of heavy materials; and ultimately failed to protect its workforce.”

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