Scaffolding firm fined £16,667 after worker suffers serious injuries

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A scaffolding contractor has been fined after a worker fell from one of its scaffolds suffering fractured shoulder blade, brain haemorrhages and six vertebra fractures.

Brighton Magistrates Court heard how, on 15 August 2019, Darren Barnett was dismantling temporary over-roof scaffolding at a site in Hailsham, East Sussex, when he fell through the scaffolding landing on to the roof of the property below, before rolling down and on to the ground. Mr Barnett fell approximately eight meters in total and sustained two brain haemorrhages, six vertebra fractures, a fractured shoulder blade and multiple rib fractures.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to properly plan the works in respect of giving consideration to how the temporary over roof should be dismantled safely. Furthermore, Mr Barnett was only provided with a single lanyard harness that was not suitable for such works, rather than a twin lanyard harness.

Zendrill Ltd of Blind Lane, Bredhurst, Gillingham, Kent pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 4 (1) (a) and 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £16,667 and ordered to pay costs of £6,767 and a victim surcharge of £170.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Ross Carter said: “The case highlights the importance of following industry guidance in order to design and dismantle scaffolding in a safe manner with the correct equipment made available to those undertaking the work.

“If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life changing injuries sustained by Mr Barnett would have been prevented.”