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Unsafe Scaffolding put workers at risk in Ribble Valley

November 29, 2012

Construction workers’ lives were placed at risk when they were working on an unsafe scaffolding structure at a farm situated in the Ribble Valley, a court recently heard.

Site inspections conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) aimed at refurbishments and roofing work, spotted the men while they were working on a project that involved a barn conversion in Mellor Brow. The inspector instantly issued a Prohibition Notice demanding that the men get off the scaffolding. The employer, Bailey Developments (NW) Ltd, was prosecuted in court on 14 November 2012 for not taking adequate measures to stop workers being exposed to injuries if they were involved in a fall.

Accrington Magistrates’ Court heard that this was not the only time that this particular company had been issued with a Prohibition Notice.

At the visit to the farm, employees could be seen on scaffolding platforms which projected in excess of five metres above ground level, but many of the guard rails, decking boards and toe rails were missing, which should have been in place to prevent a fall. The scaffolding itself was an unstable structure and the ladders propped up against it were also unsafe.
Bailey Developments (NW) Ltd were told to pay a fine of £5,000 after failing to follow the 2005 Work at Height Regulations.

Anthony Polec, HSE inspector, stated that the company had placed their workers’ lives at risk by non compliance with safety regulations.
Working at height is the reason for many workplace deaths in Britain. Construction companies are required to protect their workers from any potential accident situation.
The latest workplace data indicates that thirty eight people died in a fall in their workplace in the UK in 2010/11, and there were 4,000 victims of a major injury.