Teesside scaffold firm pays out £30,000 compensation claim after fall

A scaffolding firm based in Stockton has been ordered pay out over £30,000 after a roofer almost lost his life in an accident at work .

On 21 September 2007, the self employed roofer was sheeting the roof of a new factory under construction at Whaley Road, Barugh in Barnsley when he fell off the roof. In the fall he sustained head and facial injuries and broke an arm and has not worked since.

He was working on the roof and was stood on scaffolding supplied by Pinnacle Scaffolding Ltd of Stockton-on-Tees. Sheffield Crown Court heard that the scaffolding at the roof edge did not comply with the requirements to prevent workers falling, and the man slid between the scaffolding and the roof surface.

Pinnacle Scaffolding Ltd and LJ McLaren Engineering Ltd of Wooler, Northumberland were both prosecuted after a Health and Safety Executive investigation. Both firms pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(a) of the Work at Height Regulations Act 2005 which states: “The top guard-rail or other similar means of protection shall be at least 950 millimetres or, in the case of such means of protection already fixed at the coming into of these Regulations, at least 910 millimetres above the edge from which any person is liable to fall.”

The court fined Pinnacle Scaffolding Ltd £27,000 and ordered them to pay costs of £6,000. LJ McLaren Engineering Ltd was also fined £10,000 and made to pays costs of £3,000.

After this work accident the HSE is alerting employees in the construction industry to the dangers of failing to provide adequate protection for people working at height.

After the hearing HSE Inspector David Bradley said: “On this occasion the roofer is lucky to be alive, although he has sustained significant damage to his arm and has not worked since. The construction industry is one of the country’s biggest, employing over two million people. It is also one of the most dangerous, with 34 of the 72 worker deaths in 2007/8 resulting from a fall from height. Over 4,000 major injuries such as broken bones or fractured skulls are reported to HSE every year.”

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