A self-employed painter and decorator fractured his arm and dislocated a shoulder after falling through an unprotected opening on scaffolding at a block of flats, a court heard.
Beacon Scaffolding Ltd, of Gloucester Avenue, Primrose Hill in north London, which had been subcontracted to put up the structure around the four-storey block at Hemel Hempstead, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,737 after admitting it breached the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.
Watford Magistrates’ Court was told that 48-year-old David Currie, of Lisson Grove, London, was injured in the scaffolding fall at Evans Wharf, Aspley Lock, in November 2012.
Ladders had no suitable handholds
He had been working on the third level of the scaffolding, repainting windows and woodwork at the flats, when he lost his footing and fell through an unprotected ladder opening. Mr Currie’s outstretched arm fell between the ladder rungs and he fell to the level below, magistrates heard.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), prosecuting, said its investigation had found that there were no measures such as guardrails or protected ladder traps in place to stop workers falling from one level to another. It also found that the access ladders between each level of scaffolding did not have suitable handholds and were too short.
The court heard that workers had continued to erect the scaffolding before a new layout design – drawn up when Beacon’s workers were asked to increase the height of the structure’s first tier – had been received.