Contractor jailed for skimping on scaffolding

Caught in the act.

A Salford builder has been given a suspended sentenced for his cutting corners approach to health and safety.

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how, in July 2018, whilst carrying out repointing work at a house in Altrincham, Kenneth Morris allowed his employees to work on unguarded platforms six metres in height. The workers were also not provided with adequate protection from silica dust during the removal of mortar.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) began investigating after receiving information from members of the public. During the investigation, it was found that Kenneth Morris had made a deliberate decision not to provide the correct scaffolding or means of dust capture in order to save money.  Mr Morris had also failed to insure his employees against any injury or ill health sustained during the course of their work.

Kenneth Morris, trading as K & M Pointing of Basten Close, Salford pleaded guilty to breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and breaches of the Employers Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969. He received a 26-week prison sentence suspended for two years, 180 hours community service and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs.

After the hearing HSE inspector Matt Greenly said: “HSE receives thousands of concerns from members of the public each year and we investigate those which show serious risk. Corners must not be cut when dealing with employees’ safety, such as working at height.”