Construction firms fined after workers hurt in scaffold collapse

Portsmouth Personal Injury Solicitor, Vicki Wright, reports on an accident that resulted in two bricklayers suffering injuries after falling from unsafe scaffolding.

The two men had just started to work on the scaffold platform, some 6 metres from the ground and which had already been loaded with materials, when it collapsed and they fell to the ground.  One of the workers suffered a broken left foot and was unable to work for 9 weeks and the other suffered a bruised neck and twisted knee.

Following a Health and Safety Executive investigation, it was established that the company responsible for the scaffolding had failed to build it safely. The scaffolding was designed to bridge a narrow gap between the gable ends of two neighbouring properties and was required to hold the weight, not only of the workers, but also their building materials and tools. However, the HSE established that the weight of just one pack of dry blocks distributed evenly over the platform would have taken it over the load limit and this was excluding the weight of the workers and other materials.

As a result, both the company responsible for building the scaffolding and the building company were fined £4,000 and £8,000 respectively and ordered to pay costs.

Vicki Wright of Swain & Co says, “Working at heights is clearly dangerous and it is crucial that a company who supposedly has the expertise in scaffolding makes sure that it is fit for purpose.  Fortunately, the 2 workers were not seriously hurt but the injuries could have been significantly worse.”

If you have been injured at work, call Vicki for free advice on 023 92 483322.