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Fife construction firm fined for dangerous scaffolding

Posted in: Employer Negligence Workplace Injuries 

A Fife construction firm has been fined for exposing workers to fall from height risk by using unsafe scaffolding.

Dunfermline Sheriff Court heard that work to construct a single storey house extension had reached the stage where roof tiling, the installation of a skylight and other work to make it wind and watertight remained outstanding.

A scaffold was in the process of being constructed by workers employed by the company. It appeared incomplete when HSE Inspectors arrived, and they quickly established that those involved in erecting it were not trained or competent to do so.

The HSE Inspectors ordered all work to stop and carried out a full inspection. This revealed a number of deficiencies with the scaffolding, including missing guard rails, bracings and toe-boards; and no guarding on a working platform. The ledgers, used to hold the structure together, were also incorrectly placed and an access ladder was not properly secured and did not extend to a sufficient height.

The court was told that the scaffolding failed to provide the required standard of protection.

In the 12 months to April 2012, 49 workers lost their lives on construction sites in the UK, with falls from height being the most common cause of fatal workplace injuries.

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