Builders guilty of safety breach after workers use unsafe scaffolding in high winds
WORKERS at a Bolton building firm were spotted replacing guttering in high winds using unsafe scaffolding, a court heard.
Two employees from R Hamer Ltd were working on a home in Timberbottom, Bradshaw, and were seen by a concerned member of the public who then reported the incident to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The firm, of Dene Bank, Bradshaw, appeared at Trafford Magistrates Court on Friday, where it admitted a breach of Work at Height Regulations.
The hearing was told an inspector, who visited the site on February 1, found the men on two badly-erected scaffolding towers with an unsecured board being used as a walkway between them.
There was said to be no edge protection on the scaffolding, such as handrails or toe boards, and the workers were not using harnesses to prevent them being injured in a fall.
One of the men was also seen climbing down the outside of the scaffolding rather than using an access ladder.
The inspector issued a prohibition notice ordering the workers to come down from the scaffolding until it had been made safe R Hamer Ltd was sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £562 costs.
HSE inspector Grayam Barnes said: “I would like to thank the person who contacted HSE about the scaffolding as the men could easily have been seriously injured or even killed in a fall if the work had continued.
“They were working on scaffolding with numerous missing safety features, and an unsecured board linking the two towers. The fact that they were working in high winds increased the risks to them even further.”
He added: “Falls from height are one of the biggest causes of workplace deaths in the construction industry, and firms should be doing all they can to minimise the risks.”