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Company fined £18k for unsafe working practices.

Recently, a scaffolding company, Southern Tube Scaffold, has been prosecuted and fined for putting the safety of its workers and the general public at risk when undertaking refurbishment work to a property which required providing a four lift scaffold and a temporary roof.

Following a complaint made to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) by a member of the public, HSE visited the site complained of. It was found that the company failed to provide its workers harnesses, guardrails or any other fall mitigation equipment to protect them from the risk of falling whilst they were on the roof. Further, the way in which items from the roof were being removed also posed a potential risk to the public at large. The company pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 4(1)(a) and 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined a total of £18,000 as well as being ordered to pay full costs of £1907.50.

HSE Inspector Adam Wycherley made the following statement subsequent to the hearing; 

“[In] this instance the standards of safety that [they] endorsed on site fell well below those expected during the dismantling of a scaffold.

Falls from height remain the most common form of workplace fatality – there is no excuse for not planning work at height properly or ensuring the appropriate safety equipment is used, the Scaffolding industry are well aware of the risks involved and the methods which should be put in place to manage these risks”

Conclusion

The importance of providing proper equipment, training and supervision to employees using equipment and machinery at work cannot be stressed enough. Employers run the risk of being prosecuted by simply falling below their own standards of safety.  Therefore it is a good idea for employers to carry out risk assessments and implement the recommendations to avoid leaving themselves being opened to such risks.

If you are an employer who has a health & safety question relating to your place of business please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation on 0113 350 4030 or hello@scesolicitors.co.uk


Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

Sarah Dykes
Sarah Dykes

Sarah is a highly experienced Health and Safety Specialist with twenty four years’ experience across a broad range of industry sectors, including: Engineering Woodworking Manufacturing Haulage Leisure and Offices to name a few. Sarah has the know-how and experience to interpret complex safety legislation in practical terms. Sarah helps busy managers in organisations by taking the hard work out of complying with complex Health & Safety legislation by providing realistic advice. Sarah is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (IOCSH). Sarah also gives advice on how to reduce the likelihood and success of employer’s liability claims through her experience of working at 2 international insurance companies. This combined with her Health and Safety knowledge and experience make her the ideal person to help you with your Health and Safety requirements.

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