Rotherham scaffolder sentenced to three months after 6m fall seriously injures untrained employee

The Health and Safety Executive has dealt employers a stern warning on training following the prosecution of a scaffolding boss.

Philip Wolstenholme of Rotherham was sentenced to three months in prison yesterday after an accident in which an employee was seriously injured while dismantling scaffold.

The worker, who had not been trained, fell 6 metres after a poorly supported board gave way last January. He suffered injuries to his spine and foot.

The HSE had issued Wolstenholme with a notice in March 2006 prohibiting him from using untrained staff to erect or dismantle scaffolding.

The body is now reiterating to other companies that employees must have adequate training before undertaking work.

HSE Inspector Robert Cooper said: “Philip Wolstenholme wilfully disregarded advice given to him by HSE and the requirements of a prohibition notice served on him. In doing so he put the safety of his workers at great risk.

“The injuries suffered by the employee were very serious and could very easily have been fatal. This sad case highlights the need for employers to train people working for them, particularly in high risk work. The HSE will not tolerate employers who endanger the lives of their employees in this way.”