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SCAFFOLDING CONTRACTORS GIVEN PRISON TERMS

Father and son receive suspended prison sentences after workman died

Colin Marshall Scaffolding (C and J Marshall T/A) from St Austell, Cornwall have received suspended prison sentences following a death of a workman who fell 7m to his death.

Roger Stoddern, aged 47, was dismantling scaffolding on 24 June 2013, when he fell from a flat roof of a property in St Mawes. He was taken to hospital but died three weeks later due to the severity of his injuries.

Truro Crown Court heard how Mr Stoddern was stacking 3m roofing sheets on the flat roof of a property which was not fitted with edge protection to prevent a fall. The safety railing had been removed to allow access to the flat roof so the sheets could be stacked.

The court also heard how one of the defendants replaced the safety rail following the incident to “cover up” the cause of the incident.

HSE investigators and Devon and Cornwall police found that the contractor was not qualified to erect the scaffolding and there was no evidence that personal protective equipment e.g. fall arrest was used. The condition of the scaffolding also failed to meet current safety standards.

Right equipment and edge protection needed

Colin Marshall, of St Austell, founder of the business pleaded guilty to Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was given a four-month prison sentence suspended for two-years. James Marshall, also of St Austell, Colin’s son and business partner was handed an eight-month sentence suspended for two-years. They were ordered to pay costs of £25,661.

HSE inspector said,

“Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in Great Britain and businesses have to take the safety of their workers seriously. Colin Marshall and James Marshall are responsible for the death of Roger Stoddern.

It was entirely preventable and should not have happened. The risks of working at height are known. Scaffolders must ensure they use the right protective equipment and have sufficient edge protection in place to prevent workers falling.”

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