His negligence led to a 42-year-old colleague, who does not wish to be named, falling nearly three metres to the ground when the guardrail gave way. The self-employed victim has been unable to work since the accident on the construction site of a care home in Tweentown on 30 January 2013. He may never be to carry out manual labour again.
The incident was investigated by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), which decided to prosecute.
Taunton Magistrates’ Court was told that David Dix, 52, loosened a scaffold guardrail to try and resolve a problem that he had encountered. However, he failed to tighten it up properly again. Shortly afterwards, the other worker was emptying a muck bin when the guardrail gave way.
David John Dix, of Cambrook Close, Camerton, near Bath, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 8 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was ordered to pay £700 compensation to his injured colleague.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Sue Adsett said: “What happened that day could easily have been avoided and will affect the injured man for the rest of his life. Scaffolding should only be altered by scaffolders, but David Dix took it upon himself to adjust some scaffolding when he was not authorised to do so, with disastrous consequences.
“He had no ulterior motive – like most construction workers he was simply trying to get on with the job when a problem arose that he was trying to overcome. The consequences of the incident have had a huge impact upon him as well.
“I hope this case makes construction workers stop and think before putting themselves and their colleagues at risk by altering scaffolding on building sites.”