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Contractor fined £5k for ropey scaffolding

15 Nov 12 A Lancashire building company has been fined £5,000 for inadequate scaffolding on a barn conversion job.

The feeble scaffold
The feeble scaffold

Construction workers were spotted working on the unsafe scaffolding at a farm in the Ribble Valley during a series of on-the-spot inspections out by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) targeting refurbishment and roof work.

The men were working on a barn conversion in Mellor Brow, Mellor. Workers were seen on scaffolding platforms more than five metres above the ground, but there were numerous missing guard rails, deck boards and toe boards. The scaffolding was also potentially unstable and there were unsafe ladders leaning against it.

Bailey Developments (NW) Ltd was prosecuted for failing to take sufficient measures to prevent workers being injured in a fall.

Accrington magistrates were told the company had had a previous run-in with the HSE, having been served with a prohibition notice in 2009 for unsafe work at height at a construction site in Preston.

Bailey Developments (NW) Ltd, of Deanfield Drive, Clitheroe, was fined £5,000 after admitting breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was also ordered to pay £2,000 in prosecution costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Anthony Polec said: "Bailey Developments risked the lives of its employees by failing to ensure the scaffolding they were working on was safe. It was only luck that no one was injured in a fall.

"Work at height is one of the biggest causes of workplace deaths in the UK, with dozens of fatal injuries every year. It’s therefore vital that construction companies do all they can to protect their workers."

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