Asons Solicitors Warn of Scaffold Safety after Apprentice suffers from fall at work

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According to the HSE, a Worcestershire-based company has been fined after an inexperienced 18-year-old apprentice broke his back when he fell more than three metres after a scaffolding accident.

Scaffolding Fall

Scaffolding Fall

in 2012 alone 40 people died, and over 3000 people were injured, after falling from height.

Acording to the HSE report (HSE/M/82/13), the trainee, who has asked not to be named, was working on a construction site in Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire. (1)

The firm were revisiting the site to make additional modifications to the scaffold it had erected two months earlier. (1)

The changes were needed to provide roofers with working platforms at each corner of the scaffold so they could install rainwater downpipes.(1)

The teenage worker was performing the necessary alterations when he fell nearly three-and-a half metres to the ground. He fractured two vertebrae and as a result of his fall at work he was forced to wear a back-brace for three months. (1)

Laura Williams, an Asons executive stated that “in 2012 alone 40 people died, and over 3000 people were injured, after falling from height. These injuries are easily avoidable when the correct training and equipment is provided.“

An HSE investigation alleged that the apprentice was allowed to work unsupervised in areas of scaffold with no boards or guardrails and without a harness. However a more experienced colleague had been sent to work with him, but he had not carried out any scaffold construction work for 15 years and had not had any refresher training during that time. (1)

HSE stated that the work had not been adequately planned, supervised or carried out in a safe manner. (1)

Neither the apprentice nor the older colleague were given any specific instructions or drawings before going on-site and had not seen a risk assessment or method statement.
As a result of the scaffolding accident, the Worcestershire-based firm pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,156. (1)

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Luke Messenger said:
“This was an avoidable incident and a young man was fortunate not to suffer more serious life-changing or even fatal injuries.” (1)

Mr Messenger also added:
“There is a wealth of guidance available, from HSE and the industry, and there is really no excuse for not following basic precautions such as working from a safe area or using a harness. In this case the company fell well below accepted standards and a trainee scaffold was badly injured as a result. It was lucky his career wasn’t ended before it had properly begun.” (1)

(1) Midlands firm in court after teenage worker's fall - http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2013/rnn-wm-8213.htm - HSE March 2013

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About Asons Solicitors: Asons Solicitors is a Bolton-based law practice that specialises in personal injury and industrial disease claims. Founded by brothers Imran Akram and Kamran Akram, Asons Solicitors has developed to become a young and dynamic law firm that delivers practical solutions to clients in times of difficulty. Their continued focus on their staff has seen them awarded with the Investors in People “Gold Award”; which is reflected in the professional and personable approach they take in working with clients. They strive to grow and to develop, and their supportiveness and attention to detail ensures that their clients use them time and again.
For further information contact:
Email: info(at)asons(dot)co(dot)uk
Website: http://www.asons.co.uk

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