Scaffolding contractor fined after worker sustains multiple injuries in fall

A scaffolding contractor has been fined after a worker fell from height resulting in serious injuries.

Brighton Magistrates Court heard how, on 15 August 2019, Darren Barnett was dismantling temporary over-roof scaffolding at a site in Hailsham, East Sussex, when he fell through the scaffolding landing on to the roof of the property below, before rolling down and on to the ground. Mr Barnett fell approximately eight meters in total and sustained two brain haemorrhages, six vertebra fractures, a fractured shoulder blade and multiple rib fractures.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to properly plan the works in respect of giving consideration to how the temporary over roof should be dismantled safely. Furthermore, Mr Barnett was only provided with a single lanyard harness that was not suitable for such works, rather than a twin lanyard harness.

Zendrill Ltd of Blind Lane, Bredhurst, Gillingham, Kent pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 4 (1) (a) and 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £16,667 and ordered to pay costs of £6,767 and a victim surcharge of £170.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Ross Carter said: “The case highlights the importance of following industry guidance in order to design and dismantle scaffolding in a safe manner with the correct equipment made available to those undertaking the work.

“If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life changing injuries sustained by Mr Barnett would have been prevented.”

HSE
28 January 2022

What we think

The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 places a duty on Employers to prepare a Risk Assessment and record in writing the significant findings of the risk assessement, where the Company employs five or more people. A risk assessment will not only identify the Hazards that exist but it will also highlight the control measures that need to be put in place. These controls are likely to list the equipment that will be used and the need for using Competent Operatives to complete the task. A good risk assessment will include much more and it must be shared with the employees completing the work.

Employers must also ensure Risk Assessments are regularly reviewed. As well as the passage of time, changes in work processes, the introduction of new technolgy and changes in personnel are all good reasons to review existing Risk Assessments.

How we can help

Wiser Safety can develop a Working at Height Safe System of Work or we can provide a Risk Assessment to suit your requirements. We can also train your workforce so they are able to work safely at height.

Training can either be delivered in-person, in a classroom environment with practical elements or we can provide eLearning training. We have cost effective training solutions to suit your training needs and budget. See all our courses

Contact us now to discuss a workable solution. Please feel free to call us on 01732 446503 or message us