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Firm fined after scaffold collapse

A scaffolding contractor from Teesside has been fined after a scaffold collapsed into a public street.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted William Bedford, trading as B & J Scaffolding, following the incident in Jedburgh Street, Middlesbrough in 2008.

On the evening of 18 January, 85 metres of the scaffold overturned in the wind and collapsed into the street.

The HSE investigation showed that the scaffold was not adequately secured to the houses in Jedburgh Street and was missing elements used to stabilise the structure.

Mr Bedford, whose business is based at Durham Road, Redcar, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 when he appeared at Teesside Magistrates' Court. He was fined £4,000 and was ordered to pay costs of £2,500.

After the case, HSE Inspector Natalie Wright said:

"The scaffold had been used as a working platform for at least five days before the incident, by workers on site carrying out work to the house fronts. It could have collapsed at any time, creating a significant risk to workers and members of the public.

"This incident demonstrates how important it is for contractors to follow the requirements for the construction of scaffolds.

"Contractors need to ensure that they meet the relevant standards in their work to erect safe and stable scaffolds, so that they do not expose workers and members of the public to risk."

Notes to editors

  1. HSE is Britain's national regulator or workplace safety and health. It aims to reduce injuries and illness in the workplace.
  2. HSE Inspector Natalie Wright is available for Interviews upon request.
  3. Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974, which states: "It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety."
  4. The court also ordered William Bedford to pay a separate [£15] victim surcharge, the proceeds of which will be spent on services for victims and witnesses.
  5. For more information on scaffold safety visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/scaffoldinginfo.htm

Press enquiries

Regional reporters should call the appropriate Regional News Network press office.

Issued on behalf of the HSE by COI News and PR North East

2010-07-23