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Blog Author Angelique Sanders

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

68-year-old woman, out shopping, seriously injured in scaffolding incident in the UK

Here’s a dramatic scaffolding story from the UK.

Two northeast companies have been fined after a 68-year-old woman, out shopping, was seriously injured when scaffolding collapsed onto her.

The incident happened in windy weather on 14 March 2009 at Shields Road, Byker, Newcastle.

The woman suffered double fractures to her right hip joint and right femur and puncture wounds to her right ankle. She was hospitalized for 12 days following the incident. Almost two years later, she is still unable to carry shopping bags and is limited in what housework she can do.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that Skyline Scaffolding Ltd had failed to ensure the scaffold was adequately secured to the building. The scaffold had been reduced in height to a single working platform with the wooden hoardings and sheeting still attached. In reducing the scaffold, the scaffolding company removed the arrangement that had previously fixed the scaffold to the building.

HSE also found that Ashbrook Construction Services Ltd had failed to ensure that the scaffolding was properly inspected both before work began and at regular intervals as it progressed.

Skyline Scaffolding, of Drum Industrial Estate, Birtley was found guilty, in absence, to one breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and a second offense of breaching Regulation 8(b) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. It was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,182.30 at Newcastle Magistrates' Court yesterday (16 March 2011).

Ashbrook Construction Services Ltd, of Leeholme Industrial Estate, Cowpen Lane, Billingham pleaded guilty to one breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £3,000 with costs of £2091.15.

After the case, HSE principal inspector Rob Hirst said: "This incident could, and should, have been prevented. The lady was seriously injured and was lucky not to be killed as a result of this incident. And things could have been even worse had the scaffolding collapsed when workers were using it.

"Skyline Scaffolding Ltd failed to erect the scaffolding properly by not securing it adequately and Ashbrook Construction Services Ltd failed to ensure the scaffolding was inspected before work began and then regularly once it was in progress.

"Each company had varying responsibilities. Both were complicit in failing to ensure the scaffold remained stable. Both parties should have been aware that the addition of wooden hoardings and impervious sheeting increased the loading on the structure.

"I would urge all those involved in the supply and use of temporary work platforms such as scaffolding, to ensure that they are erected by competent persons and are subject to inspection before work starts and then at least every seven days or following alteration or effects of adverse weather."

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posted by jarubinger
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1 Comments:

Anonymous Workplace Safety said...

This was an awful accident. When people are working on scaffolding there are safety procedures they must follow. Scaffolding safety is required training for any person working with it. I cannot understand how such a tragic accident could occur.

12:58 PM  

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