Man faces community service after taking son to construction site during school holidays…
Workers in the construction industry have been warned not to allow their children access to building sites during school holidays after a ten-year-old boy was photographed playing on scaffolding in Merseyside.
The boy had been taken by his father to the site, a three-bedroom semi-detached residence, where he was in the process of carrying out some roof repairs at a height of six metres above the ground.
The builder who must remain anonymous to protect the identity of his son, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and has been ordered to undertake 80 hours of community service in the next 12 months, while he is also liable for the prosecution costs of £200.
Liverpool Magistrates’ Court was told that the builder had permitted his son to climb the scaffolding while he attended to an edging job – his son was observed walking along a narrow plank and gripping the frame of the scaffolding as he made his way up to his father at the top of the ladder.
A HSE Inspector who discovered the scene issued an immediate Prohibition Notice and ensured the builder took down the scaffolding as it didn’t meet expected safety requirements. No boards had been placed around the edge of the scaffolding to prevent debris and building material from falling onto passers-by below.
HSE Inspector Matt Greenly commented after the hearing:
“We understand it can be difficult to find things to keep children occupied during the school holidays but taking them into potentially dangerous workplaces isn’t the answer.
“The ten-year-old boy could easily have been seriously injured or even killed if he had slipped and fallen from the scaffolding but he trusted that his dad knew what he was doing.
“The incident would have been bad enough if the scaffolding had been erected safely but it was not and, as a result, the builder put his own life at risk as well as his son’s.
“Building sites have the potential to be dangerous places if the proper health and safety procedures aren’t followed, with dozens of deaths reported in the industry every year. They’re certainly no place for a ten-year-old boy.”
This incident was uncovered during a nationwide initiative aimed at checking construction sites and improving safety performance in the sector. During the month-long initiative one in every five construction sites were found to have failed at least one significant health and safety check and were subsequently served with enforcement notices.
The latest figures from the HSE show that workers in the construction industry are almost four times as likely to suffer fatal injuries at work compared with the national average and in the last year 39 people were killed while working in the sector.
Author: Julian Roberts
Health and Safety News” updates newsletter, click here. The new ‘Health and Safety News’ section on our web site is updated daily with new, up to the minute stories. The stories are also released via Twitter – why not follow us on Twitter? and receive new stories as and when they happen?