Firm Fined For Scaffolding Collapse

Construction Industry Incident

14.09.2009

A scaffolding company has been ordered to pay over £7,000 after one of its structures collapsed at an industrial unit.

Linmar Scaffolding Ltd of Cardiff were fined for the unsecured structure which collapsed in June 2006. No-one was injured in the incident, but a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector said that people were milling around the scaffolding just two minutes before the collapse, while it also occurred just 20 minutes before a shift change.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 8(b) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 for the collapse at Western Industrial Estate, Caerphilly. The company was fined £1,800 and ordered to pay costs of £5,400 at Abergavenny Magistrates' Court on September 8.

"Our investigation showed that this scaffolding was not properly secured to the building, which is a basic requirement for structures of this type. Scaffolding erection is the stock-in trade of this company but they failed to secure the scaffolding using appropriate ties," said HSE construction Inspector Dean Baker.

"The scaffolding remained standing for 11 days after it was originally put up, so there was a significant risk of it collapsing while it was in use. Had it collapsed 20 minutes later than it actually did, it would have coincided with a change of shift and there could well have been casualties."

Copyright © Press Association 2009

David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “I welcome the fine imposed following this work accident. It is amazing that no one was injured.

“Injuries involving falling objects or falls from height remain a major source of serious and fatal injuries. As such I would urge employers to ensure that work equipment is properly installed and maintained.”