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News » UK » £80k fine after scaffolder loses limbs » published 9 Oct 2017

£80k fine after scaffolder loses limbs

A Swindon scaffolder has been left with no feet and no lower arms after a scaffold he was helping to erect came into contact with a power line.

Jamie Mines, before the accident Above: Jamie Mines, before the accident

Last week the company he worked for was fined £80,000 and its director given a suspended prison sentence.

Swindon Magistrates’ Court heard how Boundary Scaffolding Ltd was erecting scaffolding on 19th December 2016 when the structure came into contact with 33KV overhead power lines.

Jamie Mines, a 32-year-old father of five, received an electric shock that led to the amputation of his left arm above the elbow, right arm below the elbow and both of his feet. The man also suffered severe burns to his legs and back, damage to his vocal chords, and was in an induced coma for six weeks.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the scaffolding should not have been built to that height so close to overhead power lines. Boundary Scaffolding and its director failed to ensure a safe system of work was in place for erecting a scaffold under overhead power lines.

Boundary Scaffolding Ltd, of Kendrick Industrial Estate, Swindon, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £80,000 and has been ordered to pay full costs of £1,415.10.

Company director Jonathon Lee Griffiths-Clack, of Grosmont Drive, Swindon, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 as well as Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to repay costs of £1,545.30.

In a victim impact statement to the court, Jamie Mines, now 34, said: “I can’t quite put into words how it feels to wake up with no hands. I had five-month-old twin girls at the time of the accident. All I could think of when I woke up was the things I wouldn’t be able to do. For example I wouldn’t be able to hold my babies’ hands again, I wouldn’t be able to draw, play catch or teach my girls any of the things that I had learned with my hands.

“There’s so many things I can’t do it’s hard to imagine, but to never feel anything with my hands again is what I struggle with the most.

“Sitting here now in my wheelchair nine months after the accident and I still don’t walk. For a man who was very active before the accident it has been extremely difficult. I was a keen a sportsman as well as someone who enjoyed his job and was really hands on with my babies. How my life has changed is almost indescribable.”

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Ian Whittles said: “This incident could have been prevented had the company and its director properly planned a safe system of work and ensured the scaffolding was erected in line with HSE regulations. Due to their failings, a young father of five has been left with life-changing injuries and the lives of an entire family have been changed forever.”

 

 

MPU

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This article was published on 9 Oct 2017 (last updated on 9 Oct 2017).

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