Spanclad and Westminister Building Company are fined following fatal fall from tower scaffold

Employers have been urged to check their safety measures are up to scratch after two companies were fined £120,000 for a “preventable” death.

West Midlands-based cladding firm Spanclad and Derby-based contractor Westminster Building Company were fined £80,000 and £40,000 respectively at Northampton Crown Court following the death of a 36-year-old refurbishment worker. Both companies were ordered to pay £10,000 costs.

Darren Handley from Dudley died in October 2004 after he fell seven metres from a tower scaffold at a Northampton warehouse. The top rail of the scaffold was found to be missing and the tower was at an angle on a weak support base.

Following the prosecution, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) called on firms to make sure they had adequate measures to protect employees working at height.

HSE Inspector Richard Lockwood said: “This tragedy could have easily been avoided if the two companies had properly planned the work to ensure adequate safety measures were in place for people working at height.”