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Wed September 23 2020

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Scaffolding boss gets prison sentence after worker's death

6 days Wembley Scaffolding Services Limited has been fined, and its boss given a suspended prison sentence, after a worker suffered a fatal fall during dismantling.

Southwark Crown Court heard how, on 16th February 2017, two operatives were dismantling a scaffold on Cricklewood Broadway in London when the scaffold collapsed. One of the operatives fell at least five metres onto a concrete pavement, causing serious head injuries. He later died from these injuries on 4th March 2017.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that Wembley Scaffolding’s director, Sean Chapple, failed to carry out a suitable risk assessment, plan the work or provide a design for erection and dismantling of the scaffold. Sean Chapple himself did not have the required knowledge to do this and therefore did not follow the correct measures to ensure safe erection and dismantling of the scaffold, the HSE said.

Wembley Scaffolding Services Limited, Hillier Hopkins Llp, Radius House, Clarendon Road, Watford, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(3)(b) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and 8(b)ii; Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £7,860 and ordered to pay costs of £8,940.

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Sean Chapple pleaded guilty to breaching Work at Height Regulations and other health & safety offences. He was fined £1,000, received a 12-week prison sentence suspended for a year and was ordered to pay costs of £11,000.

HSE inspector Saif Deen said after the hearing: “This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young man. The case highlights the importance of following industry guidance in order to design and erect scaffolding in a safe manner, to prevent risk to workers using the scaffold. The death could have been prevented had the employer acted to identify and manage the risks involved, and to put a safe system of work in place.”

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