Firm fined following HSE inspection

A Welsh scaffolding company has been fined for failing to take steps to ensure that workers were not in danger when working at height.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Castle Scaffolding (Wales) Ltd, based in Carmarthenshire, had put employees at risk of suffering serious injury.

The watchdog pressed charges following an inspection of a site in Carmarthen in May this year.

At the time, a scaffolder was seen standing on a platform around four metres off the ground, which was only two boards wide. There were no guard rails in place or any other means to prevent a fall, such as the use of a harness.

Last week, Llanelli Magistrates Court heard it was not the first time that the HSE had been forced to take action against the company for not following proper procedure.

In both January 2012 and September 2013, the company received written warnings about the way that scaffolding had been erected and dismantled.

Following this further breach of health and safety legislation, magistrates fined the firm £10,600 and ordered them to pay an additional £2500 in costs.

Speaking after sentencing, HSE Inspector Hayley Healey said: “While it is fortunate that no-one was injured during the work in Old Station Road, the erection and dismantling of the scaffold was clearly unsafe, and those working on the scaffolding were exposed unnecessarily to high levels of risk.

“Death and serious injury following falls from height are all too common, and proper planning is vital to ensure the work is carried out safely and that the correct precautions are identified and used at all times.”

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