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Thu September 16 2021

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Abusive scaffolder gets suspended sentence

3 Jul 18 A Kent-based scaffolder has been given a suspended jail sentenced and a tagging order after his unsafe working practices were observed by and HSE inspector during the erection of scaffolding.

Medway Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 19th August 2016, Steven David Connolly was working at a site in Chartham, Kent, when he subjected an inspector from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) to a volley of abuse when she called him out on his unsafe scaffolding.

The HSE inspector saw that Mr Connolly was working unsafely and putting himself at serious risk of falling from the scaffold under construction. But he ignored her interjections and instead launched a torrent of abuse. Mr Connolly then left the scaffold in an unsafe and incomplete condition with no warning for subsequent users.

Steven David Connolly of Greenacres, Lower Kingswood, Surrey pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 6(3) and 8(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was sentenced to 24 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months. He has also been subject to the condition of a curfew between 9am and 5pm at his home address, for which he will be tagged, and ordered to pay costs of £2,000.

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After the hearing HSE inspector Andrew Cousins said: “An already worrying situation was compounded by the defendant’s unwarranted abuse of a public official and then leaving the scaffold in a perilous condition. He effectively obstructed the inspector in the exercise of her duty by his attitude, language and behaviour as well as his refusal to provide his identity or who he was working for.

“Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working. Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.”

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