Sibbasbridge Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £3,353 costs.
Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 states: ‘Where work is carried out at height, every employer shall take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury’.
The 62-year-old man, Frederick Stuart, was standing on a single piece of scaffolding board to cut through a pole at the site at Dark Lane, Tiddington, when the wood snapped, the Court heard.
He plummeted nearly two-and-a-half metres and ended up straddling a joist, breaking his pelvis in two places and cutting his left thigh almost halfway through the muscle.
The HSE prosecuted the man’s employer, Sibbasbridge Ltd, after an investigation revealed that in addition to the scaffolding being damaged, the company had not provided any edge protection for work at height, or installed any equipment to lessen the impact of a fall, such as bags or netting, in the area where the man had been working.
No risk assessments or method of work statements were produced or shown to workers before the incident.
HSE Inspector, Paul Thompson, said after the hearing:
“Mr Stuart suffered very serious injuries in this incident, which would not have happened if Sibbasbridge had changed its working practices following a previous prosecution for a similar failing.
“A damaged scaffolding board collapsed underneath the man, causing him to fall into an area that hadn’t even been boarded out.
“The company did nothing to prevent falls from the scaffolding plank or reduce the risk of serious injury in the event of a fall.
“Clear guidance on working at height is available from HSE and it is regrettable that the company failed to follow this.”