An employee of TA Knox Shopfitters Ltd was working from a tower scaffold at the front of the Footasylum Store in the Trafford Centre, Manchester on the 24th October 2019, when the scaffold moved and threw him off balance.
Manchester Magistrates Court heard how the safety rail gave way as he fell against it. He fell five metres the ground, resulting in 10 cracked ribs, a broken shoulder and a collapsed lung.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the safety rail had not been correctly fixed in place. It also found that the tower scaffold had not been erected by somebody with the appropriate skills, knowledge and training. If the edge protection been adequate and the tower constructed by somebody competent, the incident could have been prevented.
TA Knox Shopfitters Ltd of Hollingworth Road, Bredbury, Stockport pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,623.
HSE inspector Seve Gomez-Aspron said after the hearing: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities and severe injuries in this country. The risks associated with work at height are well known. This incident could so easily have been avoided by ensuring that suitable and sufficient edge protection had been used and qualified people had been on site to erect a tower scaffold.”