Untrained and unsupervised scaffolder fall leads to contractor and director being fined

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A contractor and director has received a fine for failing to supervise and train a scaffolder correctly after he fell from height

A case brought before Luton Magistrates’ Court has revealed how a 20-year-old man fell 6m to the ground.

The incident, which occurred last year, happened in St Albans while the worker was erecting scaffolding at a property. He was climbing a 7.6m high ladder whilst carrying a 4.8m scaffold pole. The pole weighed around 20kg. The man fell approximately 5.7m to ground.

As a result of the fall the man suffered multiple fractures to his right leg and ankle. He required surgery to fix the damage caused by the incident.

Inadequate training and a lack of supervision

A subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed both the company and director failed to ensure the correct training had been undertaken by the scaffolder. He was not trained to the required competence level to install scaffolding components.

Furthermore, the worker had been working alone on the temporary roof scaffold structure and was not adequately supervised.

St. Albans Scaffolding Limited director Simon Christopher Bruce was aware of the fact the worker was not trained to the industry required standard but allowed work to continue unsupervised in his absence.

Guilty of breaching health and safety regulations

St.Albans Scaffolding Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £5,500 and ordered to pay costs of £442.

Simon Christopher Bruce also pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He was fined £915 and ordered to pay costs of £443.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Rauf Ahmed said: “The employee in this case is extremely lucky to have not suffered more severe and life threatening injuries.

“The director knew the workers had not received the appropriate training in order to carry out the safe installation of the scaffolding and he put him at risk of harm by allowing unsupervised work to continue.

“Duty holders must ensure all employees are trained to the required industry standard before carrying out any scaffolding work.”

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