Unnamed Kent man had to undergo brain surgery after 2.5m fall in January this year
A scaffolding firm and its director have been fined after a worker suffered “life-changing injuries” in a 2.5m fall from a scaffold platform.
The unnamed worker, from Rainham in Kent, suffered severe head injuries and needed surgery to remove the frontal lobe of the brain. He spent many weeks in hospital and is unlikely to be able to work again.
The man fell from the first lift of the scaffold as it was being dismantled at a property in Meopham near Gravesend in Kent on January 25 this year. He was passing boards down to another worker when he lost his footing and fell to the concrete below.
The platform had been six boards wide and was down to three when he lost his footing and fell. The edge protection had already been removed.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) yesterday (6 Nov) prosecuted Paramount Scaffolding Ltd and director Luke Jessup, both of Gillingham, Kent after investigating the incident at the house.
Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court heard that Paramount Scaffolding had a three-man team on site to dismantle the scaffolding. Jessup was the only trained scaffolder among them.
After the hearing HSE inspector Melvyn Stancliffe said: “This is a very stark example of the tragedy that can result from a task carried out at height without proper thought and planning. It has resulted in life-changing injuries for the worker and has had a devastating impact on his family. In addition, Mr Jessup was a personal friend, and he also has to live with the consequences of his role in the incident.
“What happened that day was totally preventable if simple working methods had been followed and the untrained workers had been more closely and better supervised to ensure they carried out the work safely.
“The scaffolding industry has produced guidance on the safe working methods to follow and this case sadly reflects the harsh reality of not doing so.”
Paramount Scaffolding Ltd of Wigmore Road, Gillingham, and Luke Jessup of Wigmore Road, Gillingham, both pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. Both Paramount and Mr Jessup were fined £2,000 with £1,000 costs each.
Information on carrying out work safely at height is available at www.hse.gov.uk/falls