The safety failings of a building and joinery company led to a worker being seriously hurt after falling three metres from a scaffold, Aberdeen Sheriff Court has been told.
The court heard Rae Brown & Company Ltd asked 47-year-old John William Wilson, who lives in the city, to move scaffolding from the farmhouse owned by one of the firm’s directors to another site on 24 July 2012.
An apprentice was helping him take down two scaffolding towers that had been put up in a narrow gap between the side of the house and a wall, the court was told.
It heard Mr Wilson took parts off one of the scaffolds that rendered it unstable, the poles shifted and caused a metal board he was on to drop from underneath him and he fell to the ground.
Rae Brown & Company Ltd, based on Rose Street, Aberdeen, was prosecuted by the COPFS Health and Safety Division for breaching safety regulations after an investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered Mr Wilson and the apprentice had not been trained in using the kind of scaffolding they were asked to dismantle.
The firm admitted breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was ordered to pay a £4,000 fine.
HSE inspector Liz Hunter, speaking after the case had concluded, said construction firms are well aware of the risks of working at height.
She said it is hard to completely safeguard workers from the risk of falls when dismantling scaffolding so it has to be done and supervised by people who are trained to do it.
Rae Brown & Company Ltd had not given the two workers the training they needed and they should not have been asked to take the scaffolding down, she said.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: February 28, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown