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    Prison sentence and fine for employee working dangerously at height

    The employee of a steel erection contractor has been sentenced at Manchester Magistrates Court after he admitted working unsafely at height on a hotel development in central Manchester in January 2015.

    Manchester Magistrates Court heard that a member of public contacted HSE claiming that a man had been seen balancing on scaffold tubes in the rain while working on the roof of the multi-storey hotel.

    HSE established that it was David Mulholland in the photograph provided to HSE.

    Mr Mullholland climbed scaffolding to secure steel beams and failed to use the tower scaffold made available. There was a full time scaffolder on site available for any of the contractors to utilise to ensure safe working platforms were in place.

    Staggering disregard

    David Mullholland, Victoria Road, Walton le Dale, Preston, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, fined £1,400.00 and was ordered to pay costs of £2,939.18.

    HSE inspector Matt Greenly said after the case:

    “This case dealt with a serious work at height risk which could have led to a fatal incident. David Mullholland failed in his duty to protect his own safety while at work and also placed others at risk had he dropped any tool from the position he was seen in some 27 metres above street level. During HSE’s investigation he said that he did not appreciate how high he was.

    Never before in my career as an HSE Inspector have I seen such a staggering disregard for personal safety. It is a matter of pure luck that no-one was injured or killed.

    My thanks go to the member of the public who reported their concern to us as they have been instrumental in saving the life of Mr Mulholland and arguably anyone below him at that time.”

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