The Health and Safety Executive has successfully prosecuted an Acton based building company after a scaffold supporting a property having a loft conversion, collapsed causing an employee to fall approximately six metres to the ground.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court fined the loft conversion firm £5,000 and ordered to pay a further £1,019 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation identified that the scaffold was incorrectly designed and inadequate to withstand the weight of the materials and equipment needed for the job.
The court heard that the combined weight of the materials and equipment was approximately 3 – 3.5 tonnes.
The HSE told the court that the company, who regularly performs loft conversions and therefore working at heights, should have known that scaffolding needed to be designed by a qualified structural engineer.
The worker sustained two broken ribs but could have experienced more serious injuries or even death.
After the case was heard, Simon Hester from the HSE stated:
“The collapse would not have occurred had the scaffold been designed by a competent specialist to carry loads of 3.5 tonnes with an overhanging cantilever to accommodate the bay window.”
And[The company] failed to adequately plan and design the scaffold that collapsed; failed to manage the storage of heavy materials; and ultimately failed to protect its workforce.”
For further information on working safely at heights click here.