Scaffolder with no qualifications has leg amputated

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A worker who had no CSCS card or training as a scaffolder had to have his lower leg amputated after he fell from

unguarded scaffolding.

Andrew Gore, 37, of Mountain Ash, was helping to dismantle the scaffolding outside a nursing home in Bridgend, when he fell around four metres to the ground.

The incident, in June 2013, was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted his employers, Mills Scaffold Company Limited, at Bridgend Magistrates.

The court heard that the scaffold, erected by Mills Scaffold Company Ltd, was three lifts high and Gore was working on the second lift.

Another scaffolder was on the lift above, passing down parts of the scaffold to him, which he, in turn, passed on to a labourer on the ground.

Gore was not wearing a harness and the lift was just two boards wide. The firm had failed to put any guardrails in place.

Gore had undone the swivel coupling at the bottom of a brace, which he then inadvertently leaned on. The brace moved and he fell to the ground, causing severe injuries.

Since the incident in June 2013 he has spent most of the last year in hospital and undergone a number of operations.

The incident was only reported to HSE six months later, when he made an insurance claim after he had to have his lower leg amputated because of an infection following the injury.

The company was issued with a Prohibition Notice by HSE in 2012 for a similar offence.

HSE’s investigation found that Gore had not been given training in the safe erection or dismantling of scaffolding.

Mills Scaffold Company Ltd of Mountain Ash, pleaded guilty to a breach of the Work at Height regulations and Reporting of Injuries Regulations, as the incident was not reported to HSE.

The company was fined a total of £15,000 and ordered to pay £1,118 in costs.

HSE Inspector Hayley Healey, speaking after the hearing, said: “Mr Gore has suffered a great deal of pain and life changing injuries. As a single parent of two young children, one of whom he has custody for, his life has changed dramatically.

“This was a totally needless incident which could have been avoided if Mills Scaffold Company had ensured a safe system of work had been in place.

“And it was their responsibility to make sure trained workers were used on the scaffolding. There is plenty of industry guidance available about safely dismantling scaffolding.

“If simple methods of work had been followed, levels of competency checked and good supervision in place on site, this work could have been carried out safely.”