A construction firm in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire has been fined after an on-the-spot inspection discovered several men using incomplete, unstable and generally unsafe scaffolding while working on a barn conversion. The men were ordered to cease work and come down from the scaffolding immediately by the Health and Safety Executive inspector and a Prohibition Notice was served.

The employer, Bailey Developments, was prosecuted in the Magistrates Court in Accrington for failing to take the appropriate health and safety measures which would prevent workers from being injured in a fall. They were found responsible for breaching safety procedures and guilty of putting their workers in danger due to health and safety negligence.

The inspector had spotted the workers near the farm in Mellor Brow standing on scaffolding platforms which were more than five metres above the ground and did not have the required health and safety measures set in place to make them acceptable to work upon. The workers had been using them, even though they were missing several guard rails, deck boards, toe boards and other safety features. The unstable scaffolding also had unsafe ladders leaning against it. The workers who were using these platforms were very much at risk of falling.

The company admitted that they had breached the Work at Height Regulations of 2005 and they were fined £5,000. The company will also be required to pay an additional £2,000 in prosecution costs. Working at Height health and safety concerns are very serious, because a fall from a height can be very dangerous for a worker and can result in serious injury or even death.

It is lucky that an on-the-spot inspection brought attention to these health and safety breaches, before any of the company’s workers were seriously hurt by a fall from unsafe scaffolding. The workers could have fallen from their scaffolding and been seriously injured if they had continued to work in this unsafe manner. Now that the problem has been brought to the attention of the company, they will hopefully be more careful about meeting health and safety requirements with their scaffolding in the future. Find out more about scaffolding training.