19 Mar 2010

Fine for company breaching Work at Height Regulations with unsafe scaffolding

An Ellon based firm has been fined after a 17-year-old apprentice joiner fell from the first floor of a house he was working on.

The trainee fell almost nine feet to a concrete floor from the first floor of the new build home through an unguarded stairwell injuring his head and legs.

Scotia Homes Ltd was prosecuted this week, 17 March, over the incident that occurred on 12 October 2009 at the company's Kirkside construction site in Laurencekirk.

Stonehaven Sheriff Court heard that apart from a plywood sheet placed over the stairwell entrance there was no edge protection or guards in place to prevent employees from falling through the open stairwell.

Scotia Homes (North) Limited, 1 Balmacassie, Ellon, Aberdeenshire pled guilty to breaching regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £4,000. The fine was reduced from £6,000 due to an early guilty plea.

Investigating HSE Inspector Alan MacKinnon said:

"This incident could have been avoided. The fall protection measure in place was completely inadequate as a means of preventing anyone falling from height.

"Construction is one of Scotland's most dangerous industries. During 2008/09 alone 10 people died and 1,423 were injured in Scotland while working in construction.

"Last year there were four fatalities and 1094 injuries caused by falls from height in the workplace.

"Risks from working at height are entirely preventable. Employers working at height need to ensure that risks are fully assessed and that open edged areas of work are suitably guarded."

HSE Transcript Source: SCO/132/10
(Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence)

The pre-use scaffold inspection system from Good to Go Safety can help prevent accidents such as this. With such high risks from work at heights, every preventative action should be considered in an attempt to reduce these shocking scaffold accident statistics.The use of Good to Go Safety tags and checklists can certainly go a long way towards this, ensuring the necessary scaffold checks are carried out prior to being used by employees.

1 comment:

  1. This just shows that working at height should be taken seriously.


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