Caught on camera: careless scaffolders working at height
Devil-may-care scaffolders were caught red handed after a concerned member of the public sent in a photo of their risky working practices to the HSE.
The pictures show workers from Clerkenwell-based JOS Scaffolding Ltd using unsecure and precariously balanced boards to access and pass materials to higher levels. And one worker was even pictured sitting near the top of the structure casually dangling his legs over the side.
The firm was prosecuted at Westminster Magistrates Court on the strength of the photographic evidence and a subsequent HSE investigation into safety failings. The firm was fined a total of £5,000 and ordered to pay £734 in costs after pleading guilty to two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew Verrall-Withers commented: “Scaffolding work is fraught with risk and can be extremely dangerous if it isn’t carried out properly. The standards here were sorely lacking and the photographic evidence speaks for itself in terms of the risks taken.
“None of the missing measures, such as guard rails and secured boards and ladders, were difficult to provide, and there was no excuse. “It isn’t just the workers themselves who could end up getting seriously hurt or killed. People should be able to walk along a pavement without having to worry about a piece of scaffold slipping from the hands of an overhead worker.
“Thankfully nobody was injured, but that doesn’t detract from JOS Scaffolding failing to ensure the work at height was properly planned, managed and executed in a safe manner. I would like to thank the concerned member of the public who brought the matter to our attention and who provided such clear visual evidence.”