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Worker falls four metres after bus collides with scaffolding

20 Oct 11 A joiner broke his leg after a four-metre fall when a bus collided with scaffolding he was working on in Louth town centre.

Self-employed Mario Mazzarella was working on scaffolding built for him by Panther Scaffolding at the Helal Restaurant on Mercer Row in the Lincolnshire town on 9 November 2009, when a bus collided with the structure that had been built out over the road, causing him to fall more than four metres to the ground. Passengers on the bus were unharmed.

Andrew Mark Judge, from Louth, trading as Panther Scaffolding, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for failing to ensure that the workers, who erected the scaffolding the day before, worked in a safe way and that the finished scaffolding was a safe structure for its user and vehicles moving through the town.

After the hearing HSE inspector Martin Giles said: "The scaffolding should have been erected in a safe manner, and the finished scaffold should not have jutted out over the road at a height where it could be a danger to passing traffic. The failure to provide adequate scaffolding was caused by inadequate planning before work started and a failure to check that the finished scaffold was safe before handing it over.

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"Work at height remains a major cause of injury and fatalities in the workplace and for this reason it is important that, where such work is undertaken, then appropriate planning, supervision and safety measures are essential. This becomes even more critical when a job involves work in places like the centre of Louth which expose the public to the risks from scaffolding work."

Mr Judge pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 at Skegness Magistrates’ Court today. He was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £3,739 costs.

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