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DEFECTIVE TOWER CAUSED ROOF WORKER FATALITY

Damaged decking failed and workman fell to his death

James Baillie, 53, suffered serious head injuries after he fell through a scaffold tower deck whilst carrying out roof work at a two storey domestic property in Thorntonhall, South Lanarkshire on 22 September 2011. He died from his injuries the next day, on 23 September 2011.

Hamilton Sheriff Court heard that the scaffold deck was in a bad state of repair due to brown rot decay and when Mr Baillie walked on it, it broke, causing him to fall nearly 6m to the ground.

Proper inspection and maintenance required

Extra Access Limited of c/o Scott-Moncrieff, 25 Bothwell Street, Glasgow pleaded guilty today (31 July) to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £40,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Graeme McMinn said:

“The company failed to provide safe and suitable working equipment for their customer and his workers.

There is no excuse for allowing the use at work of mobile access tower components that were in such a poor condition, the scaffolding industry is well aware of the risks involved in this type of work.

Mr Baillie’s tragic death could have been avoided if Extra Access Limited had ensured the scaffold tower deck was properly inspected and maintained or otherwise taken out of service.”

 

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