Serious Fall Lands Scaffolding Company in Court

AFTER suffering serious injuries following a fall from height, a metal fabrication company has been sentenced after an agency worker sustained serious injuries following a fall from height at its site in Wallsend.

On 15 March 2017 a welder, recruited from an agency by W. D. Close and Sons Limited, was instructed to carry out welding on top of a structure which required working at height. A five-metre-high tower scaffold was erected, but this was not suitable and unsecured boards were added to the working platform to give the required access for the work to be completed. Whilst moving from one part of the structure to another, the worker stepped on  one of the unsecure boards which spun, causing him to fall approximately five metres on to a concrete floor.

The worker sustained serious injuries, including a broken collarbone, several fractured ribs and a head injury. He was taken by ambulance to hospital, where he spent 10 days recovering.

Failing to plan
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to properly plan work at height and had also failed to provide a safe working platform for the welders.

W. D. Close and Sons Limited of Walkergate, Newcastle upon Tyne, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act and has been fined £200,000 with £1,398 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, inspector Bill Gilroy said: “This case highlights the importance of properly planning work at height and ensuring it is carried out from a safe working platform and the proper equipment is used.”

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