11 Mar 2010

Unsafe scaffolding leads to fine

A building company has been fined for putting workers at risk by using unsafe scaffolding.

Driffield-based Shane Homes Limited, registered at Bowlalley Lane, Hull, was today fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £799 costs at Beverley Magistrates' Court after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

The court heard that during a routine inspection on a house extension in Longcroft Park, Molescroft, Beverley, on 7 September 2009, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found an employee working on scaffolding that was unsafe and posed a risk of serious, if not fatal, injuries.

An investigation revealed that employees working at the first floor extension were put at risk of a fall of up to four metres. The scaffolding had no edge protection in place, and an access ladder was too short and not secured.

Following the hearing HSE Inspector, Geoff Clark said:

"Falls from height remain the largest cause of fatal and serious injuries in the construction industry. The scaffolding at the Shane Homes construction site was dangerous and people should not have been expected to use it.

"The law is quite clear and there is much guidance provided by the HSE and industry bodies on the required standards for working at height. We hope today's prosecution serves as a reminder to companies using scaffolding that they need to ensure it is erected by trained and competent people, and that it is safe to use."

Last year more than 4,000 employees suffered major injuries after falling from height at work, and 21 workers in the construction industry died.

HSE Transcript Source: YH/089/10

(Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence)

For more information on the Good to Go Safety inspection systems for scaffolding click here for details.

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