A scaffolding firm whose workers threw metal fittings over the heads of passers-by in a busy Oxford shopping street has been hit with a £10,000 fine.
Hertfordshire-based Darren Baker Scaffolding Limited also hoisted heavy metal scaffold poles above shoppers and forced pedestrians to walk into the road to avoid their men and vehicle in scenes captured on CCTV outside a Debenhams department store on Oxford’s George Street.
The city’s magistrates heard on 17 March 2014 that two scaffolds were erected outside the department store on the morning of 30 September 2012 when there was significant footfall on the busy shopping street. As well as the failings in passing components over shoppers' heads, the scaffolds were not built to an approved safe design and were inadequately braced and tied, which undermined their stability and posed a significant risk of collapse. They were also poorly configured, which increased the risk of overloading, and loads could not be transferred safely to the ground.
“All scaffolds should be erected in a safe manner, but the risks are magnified when you are working in a busy city centre location with lots of traffic and pedestrians, as was the case here," explained investigating HSE inspector Peter Snelgrove after the case.
“Little thought was given to shoppers as fittings and poles were tossed or passed over their heads, and today’s conviction serves to illustrate the seriousness of the failings we uncovered. Thankfully nobody was injured, but that is the only saving grace.”
Darren Baker Scaffolding Limited, of Cheshunt, Herts, was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay a further £706 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and four breaches of regulations 8(b)(i) and 8(b)(ii) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
By British Safety Council on 03 December 2018
The British Safety Council has revealed the winners of its multimedia poster competition, ‘Images of wellbeing’, which showcases images of wellbeing at work and in an educational environment.
By Mark Glover explores the music sector‘s health and safety responsibilities on 03 September 2018
A former member of the Royal Opera House orchestra has won a case against his ex-employers for hearing damage. Will the ruling – the first of its kind – be the catalyst for similar claims and does the entertainment and industry now need to sit up and take notice?
By Estelle Clark, Chartered Quality Institute looks at changes ushered in by ISO 45001 on 01 August 2018
The publication of ISO 45001 is a right step in addressing safety on a global scale. Organisations must guarantee similar occupational standards in their supply chains.