Two construction companies have been fined and a Director has received a community service order, after a worker fell from a mobile aluminium tower (MAT) scaffold, during a pub refurbishment programme, in Reading, Berkshire.
On 02 December 2016, Samuel Goemans, who was working for Cedar Ridge Construction Limited, fell from the tower and suffered serious head injuries with life-changing consequences. Mr Goemans now suffers from seizures and memory problems and has an inability to care for himself.
Reading Magistrates’ Court heard that the Principal Contractor, Turnkey Contractors Limited, had failed to control the safety and planning on site and their sub-contractor carried out unsafe working practices, and as a result they were fined £40k with costs in excess of £3k for breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Cedar Ridge Construction Limited pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and were hit with the same fine and costs as the PC.
The Director of Turnkey Contractors Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and has received a Community Service Order for 100 hours.
Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Ian Whittles said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related injuries in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.
The case highlights the importance of following industry guidance and in order to design and erect scaffolding in a safe manner, which does not raise risk to members of the public and workers using the scaffold.”