Jail Sentence Follows Scaffold Fall Death

Scaffold Firm Owner Imprisoned Over Fatal Accident


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397
The owner of a Kent scaffolding business has been jailed over serious safety failings that led to the death of one of the company's workers at a building site in London.

Mark Anthony Hayes will serve a 15-month sentence concurrently with a life term for the unrelated crime of the murder of his brother in a family feud, as reported by the HSE.

The scaffold incident occurred in Notting Hill in July 2012, when 25-year-old Grant Dunmail fell 14 metres to his death. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that there was no edge protection in place to prevent such a fall taking place, while there was also no harness or netting to mitigate the effects of any worker losing their footing.

As a result, Mr Hayes was found guilty at his trial at Southwark Crown Court of a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 for his failure to plan, supervise and carry out the job in a safe way.

It was the third conviction he had sustained in relation to the case, having initially failed to provide the HSE with essential documents that were necessary for the investigation to proceed. He continued to withhold these, despite being served notice to do so.

Last year, Mr Hayes was fined £12,000 with costs of £5,601 after admitting breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 in relation to his failure to provide this paperwork.

Commenting after sentencing, HSE inspector Jack Wilby said Mr Hayes had displayed a "total lack of co-operation in supporting our work" that had held up the investigation for months.

"That had a knock-on impact in delaying the Coroner's inquest, and we had no option but to prosecute before he eventually provided the documentation we needed.

"His wilful obstruction only served to accentuate the fact that his systems and procedures for safely managing work at height were sorely lacking."
Mr Wilby concluded that the bottom line was that the death of Mr Dunmail was "preventable".

The verdict was welcomed by members of Mr Dunmail's family.

If you have lost a loved one due to an workplace accident, our serious injury solicitors could help you claim compensation to help get the answers you deserve. For more information visit our fatal accident claims or fall from height claims page.

Expert Opinion
This incident is the latest in the long line of accidents at work involving scaffolding and falls from height. It also illustrates the devastating consequences faced by those who work at height when the latest health and safety guidance is not followed by employers.

“For good reason the HSE regularly publishes guidance on training, risk assessments and safety measures and it is vital that employers take these measures on board and implement them, particularly in situations like this where lives are at risk.

“We are regularly contacted by workers who have been seriously injured at work after falling from height or families who have suffered the devastating loss of a loved one as a result of unacceptable health and safety failures in the workplace. Hopefully this tragic case will act as a reminder to all companies that require staff to undertake dangerous tasks at height about the importance of following the very latest HSE guidance.”
Jonathan Peacock, Partner