“Bolton building firm in court over unsafe scaffolding” Asons Solicitors Comment

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According to the HSE, a Bolton building firm has appeared in court, after two workers were spotted working on unsafe scaffolding, replacing guttering in high winds.

Bolton-based firm, R Hamer Ltd, was prosecuted on the 30th August 2013, after a worried passerby reported the unsafe work practices to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). (1)

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard that the roofing work was being conducted on a house in Timberbottom, in Bradshaw. An inspector visited the site on 1 February 2013, where he discovered two men working on poorly-erected scaffolding towers, using unsecured boards as a walkway between them. (1)

Commenting on the state of the scaffolding Thomas Fairclough, Asons Executive stated that:
“Scaffolding requires safety fixtures for a reason. Sending any member employee to work on scaffolding which is unsafely erected, or lacks specific safety tools is extremely unsafe, and an obvious case of health and safety negligence.”

The court heard that no edge protection was used on the scaffolding, and that the company had failed to implement safety measures such as handrails or toe boards in place. The workers were not using harnesses, which would have safeguarded them from being injured in a fall. They also heard that one of the workers were allegedly seen climbing down the outside of the scaffolding, rather than making use of an access ladder. (1)

The inspector immediately issued a Prohibition Notice, ordering the workers to come down from the scaffolding, prohibiting any work from continuing until it had been made safe. (1)

Thomas Fairclough added;

Falls at work are the biggest cause of workplace deaths in the construction industry. Fortunately, in this incident, neither of the employees were injured as a result of the numerous examples of health and safety negligence. However, had an accident occurred, both workers may have been entitled to make a health and safety claim.”

R Hamer Ltd, of Dene Bank in Bradshaw, received a 12-month conditional discharge, and was ordered to pay £562 in prosecution costs, after pleading guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. (1)(Case Reference HS03092013)

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Grayam Barnes said:

“I would like to thank the person who contacted HSE about the scaffolding as the men could easily have been seriously injured or even killed in a fall if the work had continued.

“They were working on scaffolding with numerous missing safety features, and an unsecured board linking the two towers. The fact that they were working in high winds increased the risks to them even further.

“Falls from height are one of the biggest causes of workplace deaths in the construction industry, and firms should be doing all they can to minimise the risks.”

Asons Solicitors suggest that if someone would like to learn more about the health and safety claim process, or if they would like to better understand how to prevent a fall at work that information is available at http://www.asons.co.uk.

(1)    Bolton building firm in court over unsafe scaffolding - http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2013/rnn-nw-rhamer.htm - HSE August 2013


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)ason(dot)co.uk
Website: http://www.asons.co.uk

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Imran Akram
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