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Manslaughter Charges After Scaffolder Death

17th December 2021

Four people have been charged following the 2017 death of a scaffolder, as a result of a church collapse.

The scaffolder had been carrying out work at the church in July of 2017 when it collapsed, crushing and tragically killing him, while the two other workers on the scaffolding at the time escaped. The Director of the company that owned the church, as well as a Partner of a scaffold design firm are charged with health and safety offences, while Director of a contracting firm that was carrying out demolition on site, as well as scaffolding company Director are charged with gross negligence manslaughter.

An investigation found that a survey into the condition of the building, commissioned by Network Rail, had noted that the rear wall of the church was ‘in danger of imminent collapse’. The report was provided to the Director of the company that owned the church and shared with all contractors on the project, apart from the scaffolding company Director.

The prosecution in the case has stated that despite the dangers posed by the wall were known, works had not been carried out to stabilise it, and then scaffolding was tied to the same wall.

A joint investigation was carried out by South Wales Police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which ultimately led to the charges against the four men.

Following a 10-week trial, the director of the contracting firm and director of the scaffolding company were found convicted of lesser health and safety violations, with the scaffolding company also found to be in breach of their duty to an employee.