The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Sunday, 22 September

School Children Avoid Scaffolding Collapse

Falls from height

A scaffolding company has been fined after scaffolding it had erected collapsed onto a neighbouring primary school.

Cardiff Magistrates’ Court heard Swain Scaffolding Limited had erected scaffolding 7m high and 8m long at the gable end of a residential property in Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan. On 5 May 2017 at approximately 1:30pm, the scaffold collapsed landing on a single storey roof above the playground of a neighbouring school.

At the time of the collapse, a group of nursery children were in the playground only a few metres away and minutes before the collapse the playground had been full of children playing after their lunch break.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found the scaffolding was not designed or installed to withstand foreseeable loads. It was not tied to the adjacent building, nor did it have adequate buttressing or rakers, so was essentially a freestanding structure.

The investigation found that it was almost inevitable that the scaffolding would collapse, even in unremarkable weather conditions.

Swain Scaffolding Limited of Heol Y Nant, Rhiwbina, Cardiff was found guilty of breaching Regulation 19(2) of the Construction Design and Management Regulations and was fined £24,000and ordered to pay £3452.50 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Gemma Pavey said: “Failure to adequately design and install scaffolding, so that it can withstand foreseeable loads, creates risk to workers and members of the public who could be injured by an uncontrolled collapse. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

 

Company Director Prosecuted After Employee Falls Six Metres Onto Concrete Floor

Graham Dyson, the director of Globalforce Contracts Limited, has been sentenced after an employee fell from a roof and sustained life-threatening injuries.

Chelmsford Magistrates Court heard how, on 7 April 2017, Mr Slawomir Miller, an employee of Globalforce Contracts, was carrying out roof repairs in Harlow, Essex when he fell six metres through a fragile rooflight. Mr Miller landed on the concrete floor below and received multiple fractures to his vertebrae, ribs, elbow, wrist and sacral bones. He subsequently spent eight weeks in hospital.

 

Fall protection

An investigation by the HSE found that Mr Dyson had failed to properly plan the work or provide adequate fall protection to his employees. Mr Miller had never carried out roofwork before but was instructed to access the roof via a scissor lift, which he was not trained to use. Mr Dyson allowed Mr Miller to work without supervision, undertaking activities that necessitated walking across a fragile roof composed of asbestos cement sheeting.

Dyson pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations. He was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and ordered to pay costs of £6,848.60 and a victim surcharge of £85.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Adam Hills said: “This incident could so easily have been prevented. Work at height on asbestos cement roofing is dangerous and requires adequate planning, organisation, training and equipment. The director was aware of the need to access and repair the roof. He could have provided work at height training and equipment to workers or simply contracted the task out to a professional roofing company.

"Directors should be aware that they may be held personally accountable if they endanger the lives of their employees.”

Picture: An industrial site where Globalforce Contracts is based and where a director sent an untrained employee to repair a roof - who then fell six metres through a fragile rooflight.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

Share



Related Articles

Well Blow Me Down - Director Fined For Being Blown Off Roof

A director of a construction has seen his company (along with two others) fined when he was blown off an unsafe roof.  The three firms, Bowmer and Kirkland,...

 Read Full Article
Lanes Fined £500,000 After Worker Injured In Fall

Lanes Group PLC have been fined £500,000, with £9,896.19 costs, after pleading guilty to one offence under the Work at Height Regulations 2005. Westminster...

 Read Full Article
Waterloo Cordoned Off - Fine for Building Collapse - Fragile Roof Fall

The high winds on Wednesday 6 caused a tree to fall onto a bus near Waterloo. Firefighters were called to Concert Hall Approach, close to Waterloo Bridge and...

 Read Full Article
£Quarter Mill Fine for Solar Fall

A Bristol based solar panel installation company has been fined after a 49-year-old worker fell more than 3.5 metres through a void in a roof. The fall inflicted...

 Read Full Article
147 Dead - 2018/19 Fatal Injury Stats Released

July 3 saw the HSE release their annual provisional workplace fatality figures for 2018/19. 147 workers died between April 2018 and March 2019 (a rate of 0.45 per...

 Read Full Article
Sheriff Court Goes Further With Shell

The early days of August have already seen four companies receive substantial H&S fines. Shell received the biggest of these when a cylinder and valve becoming...

 Read Full Article
Horrific Way To Die - Man Falls In To Baling Compactor

A waste worker has been killed after falling in to a baler; two companies have been fined for inadequate asbestos precautions;. a worker has fallen from the roof of a...

 Read Full Article
Vehicle Crushes Pedestrian & Other Cases

A worker has been sentenced after seriously injuring pedestrian - we have the disturbing CCTV footage of the incident plus news of another six...

 Read Full Article
Up, Up And Away - Drones Drafted In For Building Inspections

The Sky has become the limit as a new partnership looks to take inspection strategy to, quite literally, a whole new level.   Against the backdrop of an...

 Read Full Article
Scaffolding - Dangers Exposed

Date: August 21 - Construction company fined after worker fell from height A construction company has been fined after a worker suffered life changing injuries after...

 Read Full Article