Lincoln Magistrates Court has recently fined a well-known Yorkshire construction firm£8,000 and ordered to pay £10,426 costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 8(b) (i) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
Additionally, the Court fined a Lincolnshire based scaffold company £4,000 with costs of £5,500 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 8(b) (ii) of the same Regulations.
The sentencing was due to an incident where two bricklayers fell from an unsafe scaffold. One of the workers broke his left foot and the other bruised his neck and twisted his knee.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspection revealed that the scaffold company was employed to construct a scaffold between two properties. They did so but constructed a non-standard configuration and failed to perform a stability and load bearing test.
Furthermore, a Handing Over certificate was provided to the building firm which described it as a general purpose construction. In the absence of any weight limit test, a maximum load could not be guaranteed.
The court heard that just one load of bricks without the additional weight of the bricklayers was enough to exceed the weight limit of the scaffold.
After the hearing, Linda-Jane Rigby of the HSE stated:
“Unless a scaffold is a basic configuration described in recognised guidance it should be designed by calculation, by a competent person, to ensure it will have adequate strength and suitability. The design information should describe the sequence and methods to be adopted when erecting, dismantling and altering the scaffold. That did not happen in this case.”