Scaffold boss fined for fall that happened on his watch25 October 2012
A scaffolding firm and its director have appeared in court after a worker fell through a fragile rooflight at a warehouse in Kent.
London and South Scaffolding Ltd was contracted to provide scaffold access to the roof at Siemens Windpower Compound at Ramsgate port. The scaffold was required to provide another company with to access to the roof to replace a number of rooflights.
On 12 October last year, scaffold labourer James Froud was part of the London and South Scaffolding team erecting the tower scaffold, under the supervision of the firm’s director, Gary Peck.
Mr Froud, 22, was fitting handrails around a wall on the fragile roof, when he stepped on a rooflight and fell seven metres. He landed on some pallets inside the warehouse and suffered multiple fractures to his spine and pelvis, and spent ten days in hospital. He subsequently needed to wear a back brace for several months.
HSE inspector Caroline Penwill told SHP the company was aware of how fragile the rooflights were but failed to put any measures in place to prevent falls, such as using a MEWP, or erecting staging fitted with guardrails.
“The company and director were aware that the roof and skylights were fragile, but did not take any steps to avoid access to the roof, or provide a safe method of work. Had they done so, James’ fall could have been prevented,” said inspector Penwill.
London and South Scaffolding and Gary Peck appeared at Canterbury Magistrates’ Court on 23 October and both pleaded guilty to breaching regs.4(1)(a), (b), and (c), as well as reg.9(2) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £1000 in costs. Peck was fined £15,000 and £2000 in costs.
In mitigation, both said they had no previous safety convictions and have subsequently engaged the services of a health and safety consultancy.
After the hearing, inspector Penwill said: “This prosecution underlines that all work at height must be properly planned, supervised, and carried out safely, especially when it involves working on, or near a fragile roof.”
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