Tag Archives: scaffolding

Data Contracts Specialist Maintenance Ltd, fined after an employee was seriously injured when he fell 11 feet through a fragile roof

A Walsall maintenance firm has been fined after an employee was seriously injured when he fell 11 feet through a fragile roof during poorly-managed roof work in Nottingham.

Stephen Bassford, 58, from Nottingham, fractured his pelvis, wrenched his shoulder and sustained severe gashes to his face and left elbow in the incident on 4 July 2012. He required extensive physiotherapy and stitches and was unable to work for four months.

Data Contracts Specialist Maintenance Ltd was prosecuted today (18 September) by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation into the fall identified safety failings.

Nottingham Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Bassford was working alone for the company at the former Shepherd Special School, on Harvey Road. He was boarding over broken rooflights on the main building as well as a fragile roof canopy that covered part of the playground.

Heavy rain caused Mr Bassford to stop work and as he was collecting his tools, he slipped and fell through the fragile perspex roof canopy and plunged to the concrete floor below.

HSE found that Data Contracts Specialist Maintenance Ltd failed to carry out an adequate risk assessment or properly plan or supervise the work.

The firm had highlighted the need for a scaffold and harness system in its quotation for the work, but neither was put in place.

Magistrates were told that had simple measures been in place to prevent or mitigate a fall, such as scaffolding or a harness; or steps taken to prevent Mr Bassford working near, or on a fragile surface, then the incident could have been avoided.

Mr Bassford had worked for the company for 18 years, but had never received any training or instructions for working safely at height.

Data Contracts Specialist Maintenance Ltd, of Green Lane, Walsall, was fined £11,000 and ordered to pay £9,732 in costs after pleading guilty to two separate breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Speaking after the prosecution, HSE Inspector Frances Bailey said:

“Mr Bassford sustained serious injuries and could have died as a result of the fall. He had been working alone at the derelict school, so it was fortunate that he was able to call the emergency services himself after the incident occurred.

“The dangers of working at height and near fragile materials are well known, yet incidents of this kind occur all too often. This fall could have easily been prevented if Data Contracts Specialist Maintenance Ltd had properly assessed the risks and put simple measures in place to minimise them. The implementation of an appropriate plan would also have ensured that anyone undertaking the work was properly supervised and protected.

“This prosecution should serve as a reminder to all companies of their legal duties to manage safety and provide the protection required to safeguard workers from falls.”

Poor standards and unsafe work on building sites in the East and West Midlands are being targeted this month. Local HSE inspectors will be part of a national team making more than 2,000 unannounced visits to construction sites across the country. They will be checking to ensure high-risk activities, such as working at height are being properly managed.

Further information about working safely at height can be found on the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/falls


The co-directors of a former London scaffolding firm have been prosecuted for worker death failings

The co-directors of a former London scaffolding firm have been prosecuted after a trainee worker fell to his death from a poorly constructed scaffold in Westminster.

Sonny Holland, 20, from Orpington, sustained multiple head injuries in the six-metre fall at Whitehall Place on 24 April 2008. He died in hospital the following day.

Andrew Geer, 48, from Ashford in Kent and James Basquine, 60, from Dunstable, were responsible for the scaffold and for the young worker’s safety. The pair were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on 2 September after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found serious failings with the structure, and with their management of the work taking place on it.

The court heard that Sonny was working as a trainee scaffolder for Andrew Geer Scaffolding Ltd, now in liquidation, which was owned by Messrs Geer and Basquine. The company in turn had been sub-contracted to undertake scaffolding work by Andrew Geer Ltd, also owned by Mr Geer, and which has also been wound up.

Sonny fell backwards through a hole in the scaffold as he was dragging a ladder beam backwards to pass to a workmate.


Two window washers stranded on side of midtown high-rise when scaffolding goes on the fritz  – NY Daily News

The duo was cleaning the exterior of the JPMorgan Chase windows on Madison Ave. near 46th St. when they got stuck at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

They were left high and dry, but only for a few minutes.

Two window washers on a motorized scaffolding ended up getting stuck several floors up on the side of midtown high-rise Wednesday morning — but were able to get to safety before help could arrive, officials said.


Murdoch Mackenzie Construction Limited fined after a worker was seriously injured when he fell more than 4 metres

A Motherwell firm has been fined for safety failings after a worker was seriously injured when he fell more than four metres from the flat roof of a single storey extension being built at Ardrossan.

The 33-year old labourer, employed by Murdoch Mackenzie Construction Limited, was working on a farm in Ardrossan, on 23 February 2011, when he fell over an unprotected edge whilst walking backwards spreading out polythene sheeting on the flat roof.

The worker, from Larkhall, who has asked not to be named, landed on the ground below in a gap between newly installed decking and the building that was being extended. He suffered serious injuries including a fractured collar bone and bruising to his right lung. He needed an operation to insert a metal plate and bone graft to repair his collar bone.

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court was told today (19 August), that he was one of two men working on the roof, which had scaffolding to only two sides and no guard or handrails or other edge protection.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that there was a total lack of edge protection or any other means to prevent falls from height along the roof edge where the worker fell. The scaffolding had not been built around the full roof edge to allow patio doors to be fitted, but it was never assembled in that area even after the doors were put in. The work on the roof carried on and was therefore undertaken in an unsafe manner as a result.

Murdoch Mackenzie Construction Limited, of Coursington Road, Motherwell, Lanarkshire was fined £13,400 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Following the case, HSE Inspector Graham Mitchell, said:

“This was an entirely avoidable incident. This employee sustained serious injury from which he is still recovering.

“Murdoch McKenzie Construction was subject to enforcement action in 2010 after another of its employees fell from a flat roof house extension on which he was working. Although that worker escaped serious injury the company should have taken that incident as a clear signal that it needed to improve its safety procedures and monitor their implementation.

“Just three days after the incident in Ardrossan an attempt was made to provide edge protection by fitting wooden hand rails along one edge which was clearly too late to be of any use to the injured worker. The company was already using scaffolding, so it would have been straightforward and relatively inexpensive to have planned the work and stopped anyone going onto the roof until scaffolding had been continued along the unprotected edge.

Falls from height remain one of the most common reasons for injuries and even fatalities at work and it is extremely fortunate that this employee survived such a fall.”

For more information about working at height log onto the HSE website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/falls/index.htm


Scaffolding collapses at McDowell High – FOX Carolina 21

MARION, NC (FOX Carolina) –

McDowell County Emergency Management officials said some scaffolding collapsed at McDowell High School Monday morning.

Officials said the scaffolding collapsed at an addition under construction at the high school.


Stage collapse at Cleveland Co. fairgrounds; concert canceled – WBTV 3 News, for Charlotte, NC


The popular Christian band Mercy Me was set to take the stage in front of nearly 11,000 fans when a gust of wind blew down part of the stage.
Director of the American Legion World Series Eddie Holbrook says the band was on stage as the winds started to pick up. The members retreated just as straight line winds blew through.

Workers were in the process of breaking down the stage due to weather when part of the scaffolding and rigging collapsed. No injuries were reported.


Worker falls from scaffold, breaks leg at construction site – Fosters

PORTSMOUTH — A worker suffered a substantial leg fracture Thursday after falling from scaffolding at the Portsmouth Middle School construction site and dropping about 6 feet.Portsmouth fire Chief Steve Achilles said the department was notified about the accident at about 11:30 a.m. Two fire engines and an ambulance responded to the scene.They treated an approximately 50-year-old male construction worker, who had sustained a lower leg fracture, Achilles said. The man was transported in stable condition to Portsmouth Regional Hospital.

via Worker falls from scaffold, breaks leg at construction site – Fosters.

Industrial Court OSHA ruling thrown out – over scaffold collapse | Trinidad Express Newspaper | News

THE Court of Appeal yesterday overturned a judgment handed down in the Industrial Court in which several complaints brought against three companies under the Occupational Safety and Health Act were dismissed.

With the overturning of the ruling, the Appeal Court referred the matters back to the Industrial Court while at the same time dismissing another appeal filed by one of the companies as it sought to recover legal costs following the dismissal of the complaints.

In his capacity as Inspector of Factories under the Factories Ordinance, Jeffrey Millington had filed the complaints in the Industrial Court against NH International (Caribbean) Ltd, Safeway Access and Support Systems Ltd and Turner Alpha Ltd.

The complaints were laid in January 2007, and alleged that the companies committed safety and health offences, following an incident which took place in July of 2006, involving the collapse of scaffolding at the Customs and Excise Building, Government Campus Plaza, Richmond Street, Port of Spain.


Black flags fly as dissident accused of Omagh atrocity dies in scaffold fall – BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

Black flags have been erected around south Armagh after a dissident republican alleged to have been involved in the Omagh bombing died in a building site accident.

Seamus McKenna (58) was working as a labourer in Kilcurry, near Dundalk, when he fell from scaffolding last Monday.

He died in Beaumont Hospital in Co Dublin on Friday. It is understood his family decided to switch off his life support machine.

via Black flags fly as dissident accused of Omagh atrocity dies in scaffold fall – BelfastTelegraph.co.uk.

Ledbury drinks firm deny health and safety charge (From Ledbury Reporter) – [worth tracking]

LOOSE boards and gaps “big enough for a man to fall through” were found on scaffolding at a cider-making firm in Herefordshire, a court heard this week.

Ledbury-based Universal Beverages Ltd, which is owned by Heineken, is charged with exposing non-employees to risks to their safety, and with failing to ensure scaffolding was not used unless it had been checked by a competent person within seven days beforehand.

via Ledbury drinks firm deny health and safety charge (From Ledbury Reporter).