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    FIRM FINED £150K AFTER BOY FELL FROM SCAFFOLD

    Ladder guard failed to prevent 12-year old accessing scaffolding

    A construction company has been fined £150,000 after a 12-year-old boy slipped from a scaffold ladder and fell 10m to the ground below in May 2017 in Cwmbran.

    Cardiff Magistrates heard how two boys climbed the rungs of a ladder within scaffolding by placing their feet either side of a “ladder guard” which did not cover the rungs of the ladder.

    One boy climbed to the top platform of the scaffold and climbed the uppermost ladder to a height of approximately 10m. The ladder slipped and he fell to the ground causing life-changing injuries requiring multiple operations.

    The boy now has no bladder or bowel control and is only able to walk short distances due to being unstable on his feet.

    Security arrangements inadequate

    HSE investigators found the security arrangements for preventing access to the scaffolding, especially by children from a nearby school, were inadequate.

    • Westdale Services Limited – of Doncaster Road, Askern, Doncaster pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £160,000 and ordered to pay £22,310 in costs.

    Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Michael Batt commented:

    “The death or injury of a child is particularly tragic and a lot of thought must go into securing construction sites. Children do not perceive danger as adults do. The potential for unauthorised access to construction sites must be carefully risk assessed and effective controls put in place.

    This incident could have been prevented by removal of the ladder completely or installing an appropriately sized ladder guard to cover the full width of the rungs.”

     

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