Dangerous Scaffolding

A company has been fined £7,500 after scaffolding collapsed at a construction site.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation revealed that the company had only partially removed scaffolding after work had been completed, leaving some of scaffolding still standing dangerously.

A 200 foot long, 40 foot high section of the scaffolding was blown to the ground.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Section 2(1) states;

“It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”

In addition, section 3(1) states;

“It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.”

After the hearing the HSE said;

“This was a serious incident that could have resulted in severe injury or worse, it was sheer luck that meant no one was in the way of the scaffolding when it collapsed. Scaffolds should be designed by a competent person or built to a recognised standard. At no stage during erection, use or removal should they be left in an unstable state where they could collapse. They should be adequately tied or other effective means taken. This should serve as a warning to other companies that HSE will not hesitate to take action against anyone that fails to build safe scaffolding.”

Fortunately nobody was injured on this occasion, but the case shows that the HSE will still be keen to prosecute in any case where regulations and health and safety laws have not been complied with.

If you have been injured as a result of an accident at work, please contact Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP who specialise in Employer’s Liaibility law and can advise you.