A Hertfordshire scaffolding firm and its Director director have been fined after an employee fell more than 20ft to the ground, during the erection of a temporary roof scaffold.
Luton Magistrates’ Court heard that on 24 February 2016, the 20-year old employee was working with colleagues to erect a scaffold at a house in St Albans, when he lost all points of contact whilst climbing a 25ft (7.6m) ladder carrying a 16ft (4.8m) scaffold tube weighing about 20kg. He fell approximately 20ft (5.7m) to the ground.
The worker suffered multiple fractures to his right leg and ankle requiring surgery.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found both the company and the Director failed to ensure the scaffolding labourer held the required levels of competence to install scaffolding components.
It was also found the worker had not been adequately supervised and was working alone on the Temporary Roof Scaffold. The Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) has been the industry recognised scaffold training scheme for more than 40 years. The Director knew the workers had not been trained but allowed work to continue unsupervised in his absence.
The scaffolding company, of London Colney, St. Albans, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and were fined £5500 and ordered to pay costs of £442.
The Director, also of London Colney, St. Albans, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and 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.”
Clearly, all of those involved in scaffolding activity must be competent to carry out the tasks to which they are assigned. The CISRS CAP 609 booklet provides comprehensive guidance on the UK’s most recognised competence scheme and can be downloaded, free of charge, here.
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