A scaffolder from Surrey has begun a suspended jail sentence and placed under curfew after breaking safety regulations and verbally abusing an HSE Inspector.
Steven David Connolly was sentenced to 24 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, tagged and ordered to pay £2,000 costs by Medway Magistrates.
The court heard how the man employed seriously unsafe working practices, erecting scaffolding at a site in Kent on 19th August 2016. Mr Connolly refused to take advice, and instead launched a tirade of bad language and abuse, when approached and asked for his identity by a female HSE inspector. The worker then left the scaffold in an unsafe and incomplete condition offering no warning for subsequent users.
The following HSE investigation revealed Connolly was not only working unsafely, but was also putting himself at risk of a serious fall from the scaffold, under construction.
Mr Connolly from Lower Kingswood, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 6(3) and 8(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
HSE inspector Andrew Cousins commented after the hearing: “An already worrying situation was compounded by the defendant’s unwarranted abuse of a public official and then leaving the scaffold in a perilous condition. He effectively obstructed the inspector in the exercise of her duty by his attitude, language and behaviour as well as his refusal to provide his identity or who he was working for.
“Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working. Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.”
The HSE continues to take any breaches of safety extremely seriously.