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Tue May 18 2021

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Scaffold inspectors prosecuted after roofer falls

25 Sep 17 Two scaffold inspectors have been prosecuted for signing off a scaffold without actually checking it.

They got found out after a worker was injured in a fall through a gap between the scaffolding and the building.

Greater Manchester magistrates heard how on 26th March 2014, the 49-year old worker was working on a re-roofing project. As he stepped down from the untiled roof onto a fixed scaffold, he fell through a gap between the working platform of the scaffolding and the building. He suffered fracture injuries to his spine and had to wear a back brace for eight weeks.

The scaffolding had been signed off as safe for use by Stephen Harper and Garry Arnold. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation revealed that they had not carried out the relevant inspections and had falsified the certificates to show that all was safe for use.

HSE inspector Matt Greenly said after the hearing: “Scaffold inspectors are relied upon by workers and must be trusted. Falsely completing reports without carrying out a thorough inspection can lead to serious risks being missed and life changing accidents occurring.”

Stephen Harper of Alkrington, Middleton and Garry Arnold of Crookes, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They were each sentenced to 170 hours community service and ordered to pay £1,500 costs.

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