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Scaffolding contractor fined after damaged board causes fall

6 Sep 12 A Norwich scaffolding firm has been fined after a painter was injured after falling more than two metres when a wooden scaffold board broke.

The 37-year-old, from Basildon Essex, who does not wish to be named, was painting an aircraft at the Air Livery, Aviation Way, Southend-on-Sea in Essex when the incident happened on 30 January 2011.

Southend Magistrates' Court heard that scaffolding had been put up around the aircraft by DSJ Scaffolding Ltd to allow access.

The painter was on the first level of the scaffold arrangement when he walked onto a wooden bridging board that broke, causing him to fall more than two metres to the ground below.

He suffered injuries to his back and knees and still has problems more than a year after the incident.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that the condition of the plywood bridging board had deteriorated significantly and the layers had started to separate. The damage was clearly visible at the time the board was placed on the scaffold and it should not have been used.

DSJ Scaffolding Limited, of Staden Park, Trimingham, Norwich, pleaded guilty to of breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £1,500 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Corinne Godfrey said: "This incident was entirely preventable. The damage to the wooden board was clearly visible, it should never have been used and there were alternative metal bridging boards readily available."

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