Scaffolder falls through roof while fitting handrails

Grant Prior 10 years ago
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A Dartford Scaffolding contractor and its director have been prosecuted for failing to provide a safe way of working on a fragile roof after a worker fell and suffered serious injuries.

James Froud, 22, from Gillingham, was hospitalised for ten days and had to take several months off work whilst wearing a back brace and using crutches as a result of the incident at Siemens Windpower Compound at Ramsgate Port on October 12 last year.

Canterbury Magistrates heard that Froud, a scaffold labourer working for London and South Scaffolding Ltd, was fitting hand rails on a fragile rooftop when he fell seven metres through the skylight.

The HSE found that the company and director Gary Peck were aware of how fragile the roof and skylights were, but failed to take adequate measures to prevent a fall, such as using a mobile elevating work platform or using staging fitted with guard rails.

London and South Scaffolding Ltd and Gary Peck both pleaded guilty safety charges.

The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs. Peck was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Caroline Penwill said: “The company and director were aware that the roof and skylights were fragile, but did not take any steps to avoid access to the roof or provide a safe method of work.

“Had they done so, James’ fall could have been prevented

“Companies and directors need to carefully consider the risks of working at height and identify and implement adequate controls to protect their employees.”

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