Scaffolding company fined after worker suffers fatal head injury

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Wembley Scaffolding Services and its director have been fined after a worker fell five metres and suffered a fatal head injury

Southwark Crown Court heard how, on 16 February 2017, two operatives were dismantling a scaffold on Cricklewood Broadway when it collapsed.

As the scaffold collapsed one of the operatives fell at least five metres onto a concrete pavement, causing serious head injuries.

He later died from these injuries on 4 March 2017.

HSE investigation

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Wembley Scaffolding Services Limited’s director, Sean Chapple, failed to implement a suitable risk assessment, plan the work and provide a design for erection and dismantling of the scaffold.

Sean Chapple himself was not knowledgeable about the measures required to do this without putting people at risk and therefore didn’t follow the correct measures to ensure safe erection and dismantling of the scaffold.

Wembley Scaffolding Services pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(3)(b) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and 8(b)ii; Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at work etc. Act 1974.

The company was fined £7,860 and ordered to pay costs of £8,940.

Director, Sean Chapple pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(2)(ii) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005; sections 33(1)(a) and 37(1) of the Act; Section 33(2) and Schedule 3A to the Act (as amended by section 1 of the Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008.

He was fined £1,000, received a 12-week prison sentence suspended for one year and was ordered to pay costs of £11,000.

After the hearing HSE inspector Saif Deen, said: “This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young man.

“The case highlights the importance of following industry guidance in order to design and erect scaffolding in a safe manner, to prevent risk to workers using the scaffold.

“The death could have been prevented had the employer acted to identify and manage the risks involved, and to put a safe system of work in place.”

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