HSE inspectors did not have to go far, therefore, to see the safety failings at the site in Old Station Road, Carmarthen, that exposed workers to serious risks of injury from a fall.
On 22nd May 2014 a scaffolder was seen standing on a 4m-high platform that was only two boards wide and had no guard rails or any other measures to prevent a fall.
Llanelli Magistrates’ Court heard last week that it was not the first time that HSE had been forced to take action against Castle Scaffolding (Wales) Ltd for unsafe work at height.
The company had previously received written warnings in both 2012 and 2013.
Castle Scaffolding (Wales) Ltd, of Old Coal Yard, Tir Onnen, Station Road, St Clears, Carmarthenshire, was fined a total of £10,600 and ordered to pay £2,500 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Regulation 5 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Hayley Healey said: “While it is fortunate that no-one was injured during the work in Old Station Road, the erection and dismantling of the scaffold was clearly unsafe, and those working on the scaffolding were exposed unnecessarily to high levels of risk.
“Death and serious injury following falls from height are all too common, and proper planning is vital to ensure the work is carried out safely and that the correct precautions are identified and used at all times.
“Castle Scaffolding fell far short of the standards required to ensure that work was carried out in a safe manner. It is of particular concern that the company failed to implement adequate monitoring of health and safety standards following previous intervention and advice by HSE inspectors.”