Scaffold falls after site bosses ignore warnings

Grant Prior 10 years ago
Share

A Croydon contractor has been prosecuted after a worker fell eight metres from a scaffold tower he didn’t want to build because it was on unstable ground.

Green Acre Homes (South East) Ltd failed to listen to the concerns raised by handyman John Morgan, who had been instructed to build a tower scaffold on a site in Peckham.

Morgan, 44, of Roehampton, was finishing building the top of the tower on November 25 2009 when a strong gust of wind sent it crashing to the ground.

He plummeted eight metres, fracturing his ribs and breastbone, compressing his vertebrae and wounding his head.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that Morgan and a colleague were initially asked to erect the tower scaffold in an area that didn’t provide a stable base.

Despite protesting to site management they were told to continue. They improvised as best they could until a representative from Wandle Housing Association, the client company, saw it and ordered the tower to be taken down as it was unsafe to use.

The court heard Morgan was then told to build the tower in a second location. Again there was a space problem and again he and his co-worker raised concerns with managers about safety.

As it was nearing completion, Morgan was at the top of the tower when high winds struck, sending the tower toppling to the ground.

Green Acre Homes has since gone into liquidation but the HSE pursued the case to send out a message to the industry.

The firm did not turn up in court and were found guilty in their absence. It was fined £15,999 and ordered to pay costs of £6,909.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Ian Seabrook said: “Mr Morgan was lucky to have survived this fall. He and his colleague had tried several times to convince managers that a tower scaffold could not be safety erected where they had been told to put it. In addition neither of them was trained to construct scaffold towers.

“Even after the firm’s client company had ordered the first one to be dismantled, they ignored the very valid concerns repeated by the two handymen, even when their fears were echoed by other workers on site.

“Mr Morgan is paying a high price for the significant safety failings of Green Acre Homes. The case highlights how important it is that tower scaffolds are erected by trained and competent workers. It also illustrates the need for site managers to listen to the concerns of their workforce and act on them.”

Latest news

B&K returns to strong profit growth across the group

Pre-tax profit jumps 23% to £65m as revenue edges up to £1.18bn
5 hours ago

British Land expects tender price inflation to hit 10%

Developer says 91% of costs are fixed on planned schemes
4 hours ago

Morgan Sindall set for £80m leisure and health hub

West Suffolk public service development to be built at no extra cost to tax payers
5 hours ago

Plans in for £500m Hollow Mountain pumped hydro scheme

Work removing 2m tonnes of rock could start within two years
1 day ago

L&G to pump £4bn into West Midlands developments

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street signs landmark investment deal with L&G
5 hours ago

Hunt starts for £250m Stockport 8 site developer

Town centre 8-acre site is earmarked for 1,200 homes, shops and leisure
22 hours ago

Higgins bags trio of East London passivhaus schemes

Partnership to build 220 affordable homes for Newham council
17 hours ago

Water industry revives PFI model for £1bn job

Vast Haweswater Aqueduct upgrade to pilot new DPC model, hailed as the future for water companies
1 day ago

VolkerRail fined £550,000 after trench collapse

Court hears how two metre deep excavation was unsupported
1 day ago

‘Ratty the Robot’ takes bite out of costly pipe inspections

Pipe-crawling tetherless robo-rat makes light work of complex underground inspections
1 day ago

Graham gets green light for £124m M25 Junction 28

Consent allows work to start this Autumn on Essex junction upgrade
2 days ago

Six win £600m panelised housing DPS deal

Better Building alliance of 29 housing associations signs up manufacturers
1 day ago

Watkin Jones reports record £2bn pipeline

Student rooms and BTR builder plans corporate name change in big rebrand
1 day ago

Race starts for £500m Scottish zero carbon hospital job

Bidding starts for new University Hospital Monklands near Airdrie
2 days ago

Manchester airport taxis out £60m terminal 2 pier job

Bidding to start before the end of 2022 for project start early next summer
2 days ago

Plan for 1,100-home complex at Leicester factory site

Galliford Try investments plots Corah Factory transformation
2 days ago

Axed House by Urban Splash staff plan legal action

Ex-workers consult with lawyers following administration
2 days ago

Summer slowdown fears as latest contract award data droops

Latest Barbour ABI Snap Analysis paints uncertain picture
2 days ago

Farrans wins £39m Somerset recycling hub

Site preparation gets underway for Keynsham Recycling Hub
2 days ago

Balfour gets green light for £250m M25 junction 10

Autumn start for M25 junction 10/A3 Wisley interchange improvement scheme
5 days ago

Leeds plumbing contractor sinks with loss of 30 jobs

Dickinsons Plumbing and Heating goes down but renewables arm salvaged in sale
5 days ago

HS2 achieves first diesel-free construction site

Skanska Costain STRABAG JV runs Kilburn site with green kit
5 days ago

Administration confirmed at House by Urban Splash

160 jobs lost following "operational issues" at modular factory
6 days ago

Network Rail fined £1.4m after worker crushed by track machines

Judge highlights "many layers of failure" within site management
6 days ago

Kier picked for £350m Leatherhead regen plan

Property arm to draw up plans to redevelop two large town centre sites
6 days ago

Two seriously injured in London steelwork collapse

Two steel erectors left fighting for their lives after collapse at Ardmore site
7 days ago

Urban Splash modular staff start looking for new jobs

Work stops at House by Urban Splash factory and housing sites
7 days ago

Building facade specialist CMS goes into administration

Building envelope firm had turnover of £43m
7 days ago

Office work uplift returns construction output to growth

New commercial work drives output uplift for the first time since the pandemic
6 days ago

More suppliers wanted on £683m waste power plant

Meet the buyer event for North London Heat and Power Project: Register now
1 week ago

Contractor services