Scaffold collapse leads to £15k fine

The scaffolding – roughly 13 metres across and four metres high – came down in high winds on 3rd March 2020.

Coventry Magistrates’ Court heard that it had been erected to protect the public from falling debris.

But a Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the scaffolding was not adequately fixed into the structure and had not been designed or installed to withstand foreseeable wind loads.

The management of the scaffolding operation was well below the expected standard because it did not identify the need for a bespoke design, required to ensure the strength and stability of the proposed scaffolding structure, the HSE said.

Climar Scaffolding Limited of Widney Avenue, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 19(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. It was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,532.

HSE inspector Edward Fryer said after the hearing: “Scaffolds need to be adequately tied, in line with the recognised health and safety requirements or a bespoke design should be created based on established engineering principals. In this case the scaffolding was not properly designed or adequately tied into the permanent structure.

“It’s only a matter of fortune that nobody was seriously injured, the collapse presented a significant risk to the safety of the public.”

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