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Worker falls 4.5m from scaffold tower during Gym Refurb

Worker falls 4.5m from scaffold tower during Gym Refurb

2 February 2013 Email this article

In Kent, a renovation company was fined after an incident in which an unsupervised labourer fell more than four metres from a poorly constructed scaffold tower whilst stripping out a basement gym in Farringdon, Central London. The contractor fractured two vertebrae and broke five ribs in the fall

The Romanian National was part of a crew of labourers working for Swanley-based MJM Fitout Ltd in order to remove ventilation ducting from a two-storey gym in the basement.

A scaffold tower was erected to support the work and was being used by the worker to access ducting from a ceiling above a squash court. However, the tower was knocked over as he worked and he fell 4.5 metres to the floor below.

The HSE’s investigation found that none of the temporary labourers was competent to erect a scaffold tower, and that it was constructed without adequate supervision.

The company pleaded guilty to a single breach of the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2007and was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £3,500 in costs.

After the hearing HSE Inspector Keith Levart said: "The worker suffered painful injuries that could have been avoided had the labour crew been properly managed, and had their work on site been adequately monitored by MJM Fitout Ltd.

"The temporary staff had effectively been left to their own devices and were working in an unplanned and unsafe manner. It illustrates the clear need for companies to have practical arrangements in place to ensure that all personnel involved in and undertaking construction work understand what is expected of them, and are able to co-operate and communicate with one another.

"Work at height from scaffolds poses clear risks, and should only ever be undertaken by competent personnel with the right equipment, knowledge and experience."