Scaffolding firm fined for death of employee

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Kings Scaffolding admitted responsibility for the death of a employee who fell while working on the roof of its Netherley headquarters.

The Scaffolding company pleaded guilty to the corporate manslaughter of Adrian Smith on September 13, 2012.

The 43-year-old Liverpool dad died after an incident at the firm’s headquarters at Wheathill Industrial Estate in Holt Lane, police said he was found lying on the ground with serious head, neck and upper body injuries at around 9.45am.


The father of three was rushed to Whiston hospital in a critical condition but unfortunately died overnight.

Kings Scaffolding  admitted unlawfully killing Mr Smith “in gross breach of its duty to take reasonable care for his safety at work”.

The charge said that Kings Scaffolding “exposed Mr Smith to a risk of death from carrying out repairs to the roof of the company premises and thereby caused his death”.

It said the way the company was managed and organised led to Mr Smith’s death, in that it:

  •  Instructed or permitted employees to work at height on an unsafe roof without proper safety measures being in place
  • Failed to put in place appropriate safety measures for working at height
  • Failed to perform a risk assessment for the carrying out of the repairs
  • Failed to instruct specialist contractors to carry out the repairs to the roof

Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, said Kings would be sentenced by Mr Justice Turner on June 18.

David King, a manager at the firm, told the ECHO everyone at the company was “devastated” by Mr Smith’s death.

He said: “We accept this occurred and we wanted to do what was right and plead guilty to it. We didn’t want his family having to go through a trial.

“This is a sad set of circumstances and we are all devastated that it happened as a family. Adrian was a good friend of ours.

“We work with blue chip companies up and down the country. We are number one approved by Liverpool City Council.

“Our safety record is excellent but something has occurred on our premises when he has gone to look at a skylight and fell through it. It is tragic.”

The firm was previously fined £75,000 and told to pay £58,920 in costs over an accident in 2002, when three labourers were seriously injured when its scaffolding collapsed.