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Tue October 19 2021

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Dodgy scaffold tower put shoppers at risk

23 Nov 12 A Lancashire builder was allowed out of prison yesterday to face health and safety charges.

Jack Sanderson (right) and another worker at the top of a dangerous scaffolding tower in Bacup
Jack Sanderson (right) and another worker at the top of a dangerous scaffolding tower in Bacup

Jack Sanderson was prosecuted for using an unsafe scaffold tower last year and then using it again three hours after being served with a prohibition notice ordering him down until it was fixed.

Jack Sanderson and another builder were spotted carrying out work to the roof of a two-storey building on Burnley Road in Bacup by a passing inspector from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) on 26 January last year.

The inspector could see there were no handrails or toe boards around the platform at the top of the tower to protect the workers from falling some seven metres to the ground. He immediately issued a prohibition notice ordering the men to come down from the unsafe scaffolding.

However, just three hours later, the inspector returned and found both men back at the top of the tower but still with no safety precautions in place. Not only did they put themselves at danger but exposed passers-by at the shops and bus stop below to the  risk of tools and materials falling on them.

Since the incident, Mr Sanderson has been sent to prison for another unrelated offence but he still had to face up these charges in front of Accrington magistrates.

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Jack Sanderson, of Bear Street, Burnley, pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and one of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was fined £2,000 but spared costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector David Myrtle said: "Mr Sanderson was given a chance to put things right when he received a prohibition notice but he chose to ignore it. He found himself in court as a result.

"Several lives were put at risk because the scaffolding wasn't safe to use, including the lives of another worker and members of the public doing their shopping on the street below.

"This case should act as a warning to those working in the construction industry that if they ignore formal enforcement notices issued by HSE then they are likely to face prosecution."

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