Safety failings and poor planning over work at height put employee at risk


A housebuilder has been prosecuted following safety failings that led to a worker falling from scaffolding while constructing a timber-framed building

Safety failings and poor planning were said to be the cause of a worker falling from scaffolding. The incident, which occurred on 3 February 2012, took place during the construction of a timber-framed building in Millerston, Paisley.

Homebuilder O’Brien Properties Limited contracted sole trader Alan Wilson to supply labour for all joinery work. He fell from the scaffolding on site between timber panels.

Wilson had worked periodically during an eight year period for the firm and was hired to erect a timber-frame to construct a block of two storey properties.

Failures to plan and monitor work at height

However, on this specific job it was found there were failings in planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review. Investigators from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the firm did not make suitable arrangements for working at height. They also failed to assess the risk to workers on the site sufficiently.

O’Brien Properties Ltd, Brighton Road, Crawley, West Sussex, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act (1974). A fine of £7,500 was issued.

O’Brien Properties Limited, a family-owned firm, has a long history spanning some 40-years in the private residential development sector. The firm operates predominately in the South East of England and throughout Scotland.


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