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Manchester Firm Fined £3,000 for Ignoring Prohibition Notice

21st December 2023

A company based in Manchester specialising in rendering services, has been hit with a £3,000 fine following the continued use of a substandard scaffold that jeopardised the well-being of workers.

An inspection by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed unsafe scaffolding at a domestic property undergoing renovation, prompting enforcement action.

The incident unfolded in early February 2022 when HSE inspector Phil Redman observed a hazardous scaffold being used by the firm at a property in, Eccles, Manchester, during his routine drive through the area. Upon closer examination, it was determined that the scaffold exhibited substantial gaps, posing a potential risk to scaffold users, and that the company had neglected to adequately plan the work at the property – a fundamental requirement for all work at height.

It was disclosed that the firm had failed to conduct the mandatory weekly inspection of the scaffold, as required by Regulation 12 of the Work at Height Regulations. In response to the findings of their visit, HSE issued a Prohibition Notice, stopping any further work involving the scaffold.

5 days later, the same Inspector drove by again and observed that the scaffold was still being used in its unsafe state.

In a hearing at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on November 24, 2023, the firm pleaded guilty to breaches of  *Regulations 4 (1) and 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and **Section 33 (1) (g) of  Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974.

The court imposed a £3,000 fine on the company and directed them to pay £1,000 in costs.

HSE inspector Phil Redman emphasised, “Companies that choose to ignore enforcement notices aimed at preventing risks from falls from height or other health and safety-related issues will not be spared from prosecution. This case underscores that such actions will not be tolerated under any circumstances.”

Speaking of the case, Dallas Cooper, Scaffolding H&S Advisor at SIMIAN said:

An HSE prohibition notice literally means ‘stop immediately’. Prior to resuming work, the recipient must be able to demonstrate that the issues identified have been addressed to the HSE’s satisfaction, and failure to do so will almost always result in prosecution.

SIMIAN’s independent scaffolding inspection services can go a long way to assist in the prevention of similar incidents. For advice on how we can assist with improving you safety performance, contact us via

* Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations requires work at height to be properly planned, appropriately supervised and for it to be carried out safely.

Regulation 6(3) of the Regulations requires work a height requires employers to take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent falls.

**Section 33 (1) (g) of HASAWA makes it an offence to contravene the requirements of an enforcement notice.