News Scaffolding Firm Made Pay £20000 Slack Installations

An Oxfordshire scaffolding firm has been made to pay over £20,000 for faulty installations which the HSE says put both workers and members of the public at risk.

Oxford Magistrates’ Court heard that when HSE inspectors visited a site with an installation by ASW Scaffolding in Wantage in July 2012 they found a lack of ties and missing ledger bracing, which are designed to provide support and rigidity.

The scaffold was also lacking vehicle impact protection, which was vital because it was on a very narrow street and could easily have been struck by a passing car. The scaffold also did not comply with a street licence that had been granted for the structure.

Satisfactory remedial work subsequently took place, but on in March last year a passing HSE inspector saw unsafe activity on another ASW scaffold on Banbury Road in Oxford.

On this occasion an employee was working on a partially-completed structure with no guard rails or other safety features to prevent a fall.
A prohibition notice was immediately served to stop any further work until it was made safe.

The company was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £5,438 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

HSE Inspector John Caboche said the faults at the second site were compounded by a senior member of the company’s management seemingly turning a blind eye.

He said: “He was on site at the time but did nothing to prevent the scaffolder working in this way. Both scaffolds fell short of the required safety standards and posed a clear risk.”

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