June 10, 2019

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

In Court

Timber fell ten metres onto 3-year-old

A self-employed builder has been given a suspended jail sentence after a three-year-old girl suffered severe head injuries when a length of timber fell on her whilst it was being hoisted up the outside of a scaffold.

Timber fell ten metres onto 3-year oldBrighton Magistrates’ Court was told how on 6 July 2018, the girl and her mother, who was pushing her daughter in a buggy, were walking along Preston Street in Brighton. As they passed the scaffolding, erected on the pavement for refurbishment work to a flat above, the length of timber fell from approximately ten metres in height and hit the girl on the head.

The three-year-old suffered life changing injuries. While she has made significant progress, it is not yet known whether she will make a full recovery.

The HSE’s investigation found that the builder in control of the works was Grzegorz Glowacki, who had tied the length of timber to a rope for lifting up the outside of the scaffold using a pulley system. However, the knot used was not suitable, and the timber slipped out, falling to the ground. There was no exclusion zone in place to prevent persons being underneath the load, in case of such a problem.

Glowacki of Rugby Road, Brighton, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8 (1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, plus 220 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to repay full costs of £5,727.92.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Stephen Green said: “This horrendous incident would have been the last thing on the minds of this little girl and her mum as they set off for a fun day out at the beach. The impact this incident has had on the girl and her family was easily prevented by simply stopping people from walking beneath the suspended timber whilst it was lifted. This risk should have been identified by Mr. Glowacki.

“Companies and individuals should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action when members of the public are needlessly put at risk.”

Download: April 2020 Legislation Update

Coronavirus has become a top priority for employers all over the world. The pandemic event is putting pressure on already stretched employers to do more to keep up to date and protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees. Download this free legislation update to understand all the latest guidelines, laws and regulations. The eBook covers:

  • Coronavirus legislation;
  • Brexit;
  • Grenfell;
  • Changes to workplace exposure limits;
  • Key cases in recent months;
  • Environment and Energy;
  • and much more…
April 2020 Legislation eBook

Related Topics

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Michael Bamford
Michael Bamford
1 year ago

Such a sad situation and in my experience training operatives and working with gin wheels I find that this piece of equipment is commonly misused. The misuse includes no planning of installation or lifts, not installed or used by a competent person, the inspections not carried out on connectors ropes or wheel either periodically or pre use. As a scaffolder I remember learning the correct way to lash items and use hitch type knots for lifting and securing. It still surprises me to this day that when i explain to delegates that robust training is required for gin wheels i… Read more »