Worker falls from scaffold tower as brakes left off

Grant Prior 11 years ago
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A worker suffered massive injuries when he fell from a mobile scaffold tower while installing a suspended ceiling at a Croxteth sports centre.

The 43-year-old man from West Derby, who has asked not to be named, suffered a brain haemorrhage, fractured skull and collapsed lung in the incident on January 18 2011.

His injuries also included a broken collar bone, ribs, wrist and fingers. The victim was in intensive care for two weeks and his brain injury has had a long-term impact on his personality.

His employer, CME Ceilings Ltd, was prosecuted after an investigation found the scaffolding tower provided for the job was unsafe.

Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard that the firm had been hired to install a suspended ceiling at the sports centre on Altcross Road in Croxteth but had made a last-minute change to its plan.

It had originally intended to use a scissor lift to reach the ceiling but did not arrange for the equipment to be delivered to the site, and so used a scaffolding tower instead.

The court heard the brakes on the wheels of the tower had not been applied to stop it moving and there was no edge protection to prevent employees falling off.

The man fell more than two metres to the concrete floor below when the tower started to move across the room as he was working.

The HSE investigation found the scaffolding tower had been made up of parts from several different manufacturers, all of which were in a poor or damaged condition.

CME Ceilings Ltd pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £5,000 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Mark Baker said: “The scaffolding tower the company provided simply wasn’t up to the job and his life was put in danger the minute he started to climb it.

“This case should act as a warning to firms not to cut corners and to make sure they use the right equipment for the job they’re doing.”

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