News

Scaffolders threw metal fittings over shoppers' heads

By on

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.

NEWS


Chickens Istock 476590118 Andresr

Government expands daily contact testing for critical workers

By Belinda Liversedge on 28 July 2021

The government has expanded daily contact testing with 1,200 new sites across frontline sectors, helping to avoid disruption to crucial services.



Open plan iStock-1011792700_monkeybusinessimages SMLL.jpg

Only 5 per cent of firms expect staff in the office full time, says CBI

By Belinda Liversedge on 26 July 2021

93 per cent of firms plan to adopt hybrid working models, according to a Confederation of British Industry (CBI) report.



Istock MED 1212160149 William87

Masks only effective if ‘everyone does it’ warn health leaders

By Belinda Liversedge on 13 July 2021

Experience has taught us that we can’t guarantee people will behave responsibly to prevent Covid transmission and wear masks, the chair of the British Safety Council has warned.