A contractor has been prosecuted for safety failings after an employee was seriously injured in a fall from dangerous scaffolding in Hertfordshire.
The 61-year-old, who does not wish to be named, sustained multiple fractures in the incident at a house undergoing refurbishment on Lancaster Avenue, Hitchin, on 27 May 2010.
He fell approximately five metres to the ground and has yet to make a full recovery, or return to work.
Stevenage Magistrates’ Court heard that Stevenson’s P&H Ltd was the main contractor at the property.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had provided scaffolding, but had failed to fit suitable edge protection, such as a handrail, mid-rail or toe board, in the section where the fall occurred.
Stevenson’s P&H Ltd, registered to Wakefield House, High Street, Pinner, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £7,373 in costs.
After the hearing, HSE principal inspector Norman Macritchie said: “Falls from height are all too common in the construction industry, with unsafe scaffolding often the root cause. The risks are well known and safe-working guidance is readily available, yet still entirely preventable incidents occur – as was the case here.
“The painful, potentially life-changing injuries the worker sustained could have been avoided by the simple provision of edge protection on the section of scaffolding he fell from.
“It is vital that work at height is properly planned and organised, and that all necessary precautions are taken to protect workers.”
Via: Construction Index