Labourer breaks vertebrae and ribs after four metre fall from poorly constructed scaffolding

Posted on 03/07/13 in News, No Comments

First Reported by the health and safety executive on 23rd January 2013:

A renovation company based in Kent has been fined over £10,000.00 in total after a labourer employed by the company fractured two vertebrae and broke five ribs after falling more than four metres from a shoddily constructed scaffolding tower.

The group of labourers were stripping out a basement gym in London in April 2011 by removing the ventilation and ducting. The tower was used to allow the workers to access the ducting from a ceiling above a squash court, but was knocked over sending the worker and the tower hurtling towards the ground some 4.5 metres below.

The Judge at Westminster Magistrates Court heard that the accident would have been avoidable if proper planning and management had been in place. It was uncovered that none of the labourers had the knowledge to properly erect a scaffolding tower and were left unsupervised in their task.

The Kent Company admitted to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. The regulations demand that a contractor of a project must “ plan, manage and monitor the construction phase in a way which ensures that, so far as is reasonably practicable, it is carried out without risks to health or safety.”

Following the hearing, a Health and Safety Executive Inspector Keith Levart said:

“The worker suffered painful injuries that could have been avoided had the labour crew been properly managed, and had their work on site been adequately monitored by MJM Fitout Ltd.

“The temporary staff had effectively been left to their own devices and were working in an unplanned and unsafe manner. It illustrates the clear need for companies to have practical arrangements in place to ensure that all personnel involved in and undertaking construction work understand what is expected of them, and are able to co-operate and communicate with one another.

“Work at height from scaffolds poses clear risks, and should only ever be undertaken by competent personnel with the right equipment, knowledge and experience.”

If you have suffered an injury after a fall from height at work, we may be able to help you obtain compensation for your injuries. Leave a query on our website….


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