Loft company fined after employee injured in scaffold collapse
  • adtozhouadtozhou November 2016
    A loft conversion company has been fined for safety failings after an employee was injured in a dramatic ladder scaffolding systems collapse outside a property in North London.

    The
    structure buckled, tipped towards the home it was being used to serve
    and bent in on itself – effectively creating a chute that sent the
    worker and an array of materials, including plaster boards, wood and
    lead rolls, crashing six metres to the ground below.

    His
    employer, Acton-based Lofty Creations UK Ltd, was prosecuted yesterday
    (11 March) by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an
    investigation identified clear failings with the design of the scaffold.

    Thomas
    Pastura, 24, broke two ribs in the fall at the property in Danvers
    Road, Hornsey, on 4 October 2013, but was fortunate not to have been
    more seriously injured or even killed.

    Westminster Magistrates'
    Court heard it was being used to provide access to the roof of a
    traditional two-storey property where a loft conversion was underway,
    and had been built to reach across a ground level bay window.

    HSE
    established that the weight of the materials on the structure at the
    time of collapse was between 3-3.5 tonnes – the equivalent of a transit
    van. This was far greater than it could safely handle and it gave way as
    it was simply unable to bear the load.

    Lofty Creations UK Ltd,
    of Warple Way, Acton, NW3, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay a further
    £1,019 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the
    Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

    Magistrates
    were told that, as a company routinely engaged with work at height,
    Lofty Creations should have known the property required a scaffold built
    to an approved design by a specialist structural engineer.

    After the hearing HSE Inspector Simon Hester said:

    “The
    collapse would not have occurred had the scaffold been designed by a
    competent specialist to carry loads of 3.5 tonnes with an overhanging
    cantilever to accommodate the bay window.

    “That didn't happen and
    Mr Pastura suffered a painful injury as a result – although he is
    perhaps fortunate not to have come off a lot worse.

    “Lofty Creations failed to adequately plan and design the ringlock scaffolding details that collapsed; failed to manage the storage of heavy materials; and ultimately failed to protect its workforce.”

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