Panther Scaffolding fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £3,739 costs

A joiner broke his leg falling from scaffolding he was working on after it was hit by a bus.

Mario Mazzarella was working at the Helal Restaurant on Mercer Row in Louth, Lincolnshire on 9 November 2009, when a bus collided with the structure, which had been built overhanging the road.

Self-employed Mazzarella fell over four metres to the ground, breaking his leg. The bus driver and passengers were unhurt.    

Andrew Mark Judge, trading as Panther Scaffolding, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and appeared at Skegness Magistrates’ Court today.

The HSE said Judge had failed to ensure that the workers who erected the scaffolding had worked in a safe way, and that the finished structure was safe for its user and vehicles moving through the town.

Judge pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £3,739 costs.

After the hearing HSE inspector Martin Giles said: “The scaffolding should have been erected in a safe manner, and the finished scaffold should not have jutted out over the road at a height where it could be a danger to passing traffic. The failure to provide adequate scaffolding was caused by inadequate planning before work started and a failure to check that the finished scaffold was safe before handing it over.”

“Work at height remains a major cause of injury and fatalities in the workplace and for this reason it is important that, where such work is undertaken, then appropriate planning, supervision and safety measures are essential. This becomes even more critical when a job involves work in places like the centre of Louth which expose the public to the risks from scaffolding work.”