3 Sep 2010

Worker plunges thirty feet from unsafe scaffold

A building company and its director have been fined a total of £30,000 after a worker fell nearly thirty feet from scaffolding at a building site in Llanfairfechan, sustaining severe injuries.

 JBB Homes Ltd of St. Petersgate, Stockport in Cheshire - which has subsequently gone into liquidation - pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,835.

The company's director pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £10,000.

Llandudno Magistrates' Court heard that builder Nicholas Roberts, 28 years old from Rhyl, was working on scaffolding at a site in Gwylanedd, The Promenade, Llanfairfechan on 4 December 2007 when the incident happened.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that Mr Roberts was carrying out work to replace a lintel, when he fell from the scaffolding. He fractured his pelvis in three places, broke some teeth and bruised his pelvis and groin.

Following the hearing HSE Inspector, Debbie John, said:

"Falling from a height of around nine metres, Mr Roberts was extremely lucky to survive. It's incredible that he managed to walk away with broken bones.

"JBB Homes Limited and James Burt failed in their duty to provide a safe system of work, including a lack of suitable means to prevent falls from the scaffolding. Mr Burt also failed to properly supervise his staff.

"Falls from height remain the single biggest cause of workplace deaths and one of the main causes of major injury and construction companies must not leave safety of their workers as an after-thought, which could lead to tragic consequences."

More than 4,000 workers suffered a major injury as a result of a fall from height in 2008/09. HSE's Shattered Lives campaign aims to highlight the dangers of slips, trips and falls in the workplace.

HSE Transcript Source: 793W10
(Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence)

It is essential that the erection of a scaffold is structurally sound and maintained for the duration of the work. Only qualified and competent scaffolders should be involved in the design and construction of the scaffolding, with a daily inspection prior to use to check its integrity. For details of the Good to Go Safety inspection system for scaffolding click here for details on how to ensure your scaffolding is always 'good to go'.


  1. These stories always worry me i have seen some fall though a floor in a house cause of rotten floor boards and he broke his ankle in two places. These builder just try to finish jobs to quickly and cut corners, i would have thought they would properly erect scaffolding though.

  2. All we have to do it's work always safe and doing all we know, it's basic to keep improving and develope the work without any problem


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