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Company fined after apprentice injured in fall from height

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A scaffolding company has been sentenced today for safety breaches after a 16-year-old apprentice joiner fell approximately four metres from a scaffold platform.

Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 6 September 2016, the apprentice was passing roof tiles from the loading bay to a colleague on the scaffold when he caught his foot in a gap between the scaffold platform and the loading bay. The apprentice fell backwards under a single guard rail to the ground below, sustaining injuries including a fractured cheekbone, broken wrist and injuries to his ribs. The apprentice also required 13 stitches for a deep cut above his left eye.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the loading bay edge protection did not include an intermediate guard-rail or toe board.

Bland Scaffolding Ltd of Old Ship House, Wath Road, Elsecar pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay £918 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Trisha Elvy commented: “This case highlights the importance of following well known industry guidance to design and erect scaffolding in a safe manner, a fall from this height could have easily been fatal.

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