Scaffolding Fall Worker Breaks Back

Broken Back After Fall At Work

20.07.2010

A worker who fell around six metres when scaffolding in North Humberside buckled underneath him was left with broken bones and head injuries, magistrates have heard.

A weak platform caused the floor beneath self-employed contractor Stephen Martin to open like a trap door, causing him to fall from the height of the roof of the two-storey house in St Aiden Road, Bridlington, in April last year.

Mr Martin suffered three broken ribs, several broken bones in his back and head injuries, and had to receive emergency treatment at Hull Royal Infirmary.

Advanced Scaffolding (GB) Ltd, which erected the structure, was prosecuted for not ensuring the scaffolding was of adequate strength or rigidity.

The Health and Safety Executive told Bridlington Magistrates' Court a bay window in the property required the scaffold to have a cantilever projection but that this was insufficiently supported.

The firm, based in North Street in the town, was convicted of breaking the Work at Height Regulations 2005. Magistrates fined Advanced Scaffolding £3,500 and ordered it to pay costs of £3,000.

Safety inspector Geoff Clark said: "Mr Martin suffered terrible injuries from his fall at St Aiden Road, and could quite easily have been killed. The scaffolding was poorly planned and poorly constructed, and Advanced Scaffolding clearly failed to install a structure that was fit for purpose in this regard."

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David Urpeth at Law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "I welcome the fine imposed following this very serious work accident. Falls from height still account for a worrying number of serious and fatal injuries sustained after an accident at work. The real tragedy, is that many of these work accidents could and should have been avoided."