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    EXCLUSION ZONE ABSENT DURING LIFTING OPERATIONo

    Builder given prison term after timber falls on three year old girl

    A self-employed builder has been given a suspended jail sentence after a three-year-old girl suffered severe head injuries when a length of timber struck her whilst it was being hoisted on the outside of a scaffold in July 2018.

    Brighton Magistrates heard how the girl and her mother, who was pushing her daughter in a buggy, were walking along Preston Street in Brighton at the time of the incident.

    As they passed the scaffolding, erected on the pavement for refurbishment work to a flat above, the length of timber fell from approximately 10m striking the girl on the head causing life changing injuries.

    Whilst she has made a significant progress it is not yet known whether she will make a full recovery.

    Unsuitable knot used to secure timber

    HSE investigators found that the builder in control of the works tied the length of timber to a rope for lifting outside the scaffold using a pulley system.

    However, the knot used was unsuitable and the timber slipped out and fell to the ground. There was no exclusion zone in place to prevent persons being underneath the load, in case of such a problem.

    •  Grzegorz  Glowacki – of Rugby Road, Brighton, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8 (1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, plus 220 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to repay full costs of £5727.92.

    Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Stephen Green said:

    “This horrendous incident would have been the last thing on the minds of this little girl and her mum as they set off for a fun day out at the beach.

    The impact this incident has had on the girl and her family was easily prevented by simply stopping people from walking beneath the suspended timber whilst it was lifted. This risk should have been identified by Mr. Glowacki.“

    National Access and Scaffolding Confederation SG9:15

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