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Fine for Contractor After Employee Falls from Scaffolding

15th October 2021

A Stockport-based shopfitting company was fined in late September following a 2019 scaffold fall which saw an employee suffer multiple fractures.

The incident occurred in October 2019; an employee was working on a scaffold tower that had been erected in front of a shop within the Trafford Centre in Manchester, when the scaffold moved and subsequently threw the employee off balance. Despite hitting the safety rail after he fell backwards, the rail gave way, causing the worker to fall fifteen feet to the ground below. As a result, the employee received ten fractured ribs, a fractured shoulder and a collapsed lung.

Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) it was discovered that the safety rail was not fixed in place correctly, which ultimately caused it to give way. Furthermore, the company had failed to ensure the tower scaffold was erected by someone with the correct training, knowledge and skills to competently construct it. Had this have happened, the HSE is confident the incident could have been prevented.

After pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, the shopfitting company was fined £18,000 plus costs of £4,623.

Speaking of the incident, Jamie Lyons, Specialist Scaffolding H&S Advisor at Simian said: “Having the right skills and qualifications to work with scaffolding is essential. It’s not clear what type of scaffold was involved in this case, but regardless, those erecting or working from any scaffolds should have the requisite training to enable them to do so, whether that be CISRS or PASMA training, and this always includes information on basic safety features, such as guardrails.”

If you want to ensure your workforce is operating safely at height, speak to the SIMIAN team today for information on our scaffolding training and consultancy services.