A 16 year old apprentice joiner fell approximately 4m from a scaffold platform, Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard.

On 6 September 2016, the apprentice who was working for a Scaffolding firm, was standing on a loading bay, passing roof tiles to a colleague who was working on the scaffold platform. He caught his foot in the gap between the loading bay and the scaffolding and fell backwards to the ground below. The apprentice suffered a fractured cheekbone, a broken wrist, injuries to his ribs and a deep cut above his left eye that required 13 stitches.

The scaffolding company had fitted only a single guard rail onto the loading bay, which was not sufficient to prevent the apprentice’s fall. An HSE investigation found that neither an intermediate guard rail nor a toe board had been installed as part of the loading bay edge protection.

The scaffolding company pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 8(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. It has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay £918 in costs. HSE inspector Trisha Elvy commented: “This case highlights the importance of following well known industry guidance to design and erect scaffolding in a safe manner. A fall from this height could have easily been fatal.”

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