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This article was published on November 12th, 2014
The owner of a scaffolding company has been successfully prosecuted by the HSE after they received information about poor health and safety practices.
He was pictured, along with his employees, putting up scaffolding whilst balancing on a single rail. They were not wearing any harnesses and there were no guard rails to protect them from falling. As the worker were nine metres above ground, it is likely that any fall would have resulted in very serious or even fatal injuries.
The photographs of the company’s working practices were taken by a concerned member of the public and used by the HSE as evidence in their case against the firm.
The court heard how the owner had put his own life and the lives of two scaffolders in danger by failing to have any fall prevention measures in place. He was fined £265 and ordered to pay £511 in costs for breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
An HSE Inspector said: “He… put his own life at risk and the lives of two other workers by carrying out this scaffolding job in a totally unsafe manner.
“Anyone falling from nine metres would likely be killed and that type of disregard for safety is totally unacceptable.
“He… failed to follow basic safety precautions and heed the professional guidance available to scaffolding companies.
“Where practical when erecting scaffolding, they should work from a fully-boarded scaffold and guardrail. If this is not possible, all scaffolders should wear clipped-on harnesses.”
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