HSE blames failure to keep other workers clear of scaffold dismantling for injury by falling pole

A Hampshire company has been fined after a scaffolding pole fell on an employee, causing serious injury.

Peter Ernest Jones Ltd was fined £5,000 and required to pay costs of over £1,000, after pleading guilty to flouting regulation 10 of the Construction Regulations 1996.

The prosecution followed an incident at a construction site, on a development of new and converted houses in Southsea, Portsmouth, in February 2007.

A worker had crossed the site to make tea when a 1.5m scaffolding pole fell on him from a scaffold being dismantled. There had been no segregation between scaffolding work and other site workers, and the employee suffered severe injuries including partial paralysis. Over a year later, it is still unclear if he will regain his health.

Health and Safety Executive inspector Joanna Woodcock said: “Falling materials pose a significant risk on every site. Even a small element of scaffolding can cause significant injury or death. Those in control of scaffold operations should keep others out from below because it only takes a simple human error to drop something.”