Construction firm fined £26,000 following worker’s fall

The untrained employee was not given the appropriate equipment

Construction firm fined £26,000 following worker’s fall

Construction & Engineering

By Terry Gangcuangco

R J Scaffolding (Bristol) Limited has been fined £26,000 and ordered to pay over £1,600 in costs following a worker’s fall from scaffolding.

Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported that the employee fell more than six metres and was in an induced coma for two weeks. Serious injuries included five skull fractures and the loss of sight in one eye.

The workplace health and safety regulator’s investigation found that not only was the worker untrained, the appropriate equipment had not been provided as well. In addition, the supervisor was unfamiliar with the expected safety techniques.   

At Bristol Magistrates’ Court, the firm pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 for the June 2016 incident.

“Those in control of work have a responsibility to ensure safe methods of working are used and to inform, instruct and train their workers in their use,” said HSE inspector Ian Whittles.

He added: “If industry recognised safe systems of erecting scaffold had been in place prior to the incident, the life changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”

It was not disclosed which company provides RJ Scaffolding’s cover.

“As long as you have taken reasonable steps to prevent accidents or harm to your employees (and the injury or illness was caused after October 01, 2013), you shouldn’t have to pay compensation. However, if a court finds you are liable, employers’ liability insurance will help you to pay any compensation for your employees’ injuries or illness,” read HSE’s guidance on health and safety.

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