Firm prosecuted over failure to use most suitable means of access
A Scaffolding Contractor has been fined after a worker suffered life-changing injuries in a 2m fall from a ladder while constructing scaffolding for the set of a television programme.
*******, aged 49, sustained serious foot injuries in the incident at ***** Birmingham, on 25 March 2013. He is now reliant on a wheelchair and has been unable to work since.
Birmingham Magistrates heard (8th May) the company was building the supporting scaffold to hold a theatrical set in place.
Mr ******** was working from a ladder and attaching supporting scaffold to the back of the wooden set. When he pulled a fixture on the set towards the scaffold the fixture came away and he lost his balance. He realised he was about to fall and jumped from the ladder landing heavily on his feet, badly breaking both heels.
HSE established a tower scaffold or elevated work platform should have been used instead of a ladder, as readily available guidance clearly states.
Tower scaffold available and should have been used
The Scaffolding Contractor, pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £535 in costs and a £500 victim surcharge.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Edward Fryer said:
“The danger of using ladders should not be underestimated. This is another example of serious injuries being sustained where other access equipment could have been used instead.
A tower scaffold was available and should have been used. As a scaffolding company, ******* Scaffolding should be experts in access and working at height. They know it is a high-risk activity, and they should know what measures to put in place to keep workers safe.”