Formula Scaffolding (London) has been fined £160,000 and ordered to pay costs of over £11,500 after one of the company's scaffolding structures collapsed. Judges at High Wycombe Magistrates' Court handed down the hefty fine after Formula Scaffolding was found guilty of a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974.
The scaffolding had been erected on a busy street in Maidenhead. When the scaffold was no longer required, a member of the company's workforce began removing the scaffold ties in order to begin dismantling the structure. With high winds in the area at the time, which were recorded as being in excess of 30mph, the monarflex sheeting on the scaffold acted like a wind sail, causing the scaffold to collapse and fall into the street below.
Immediately following the incident, which happened in April of 2018, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation. After this was carried out, the HSE ruled that the root cause of the collapse was 'a lack of training and adequate instruction'.
Commenting on the matter, HSE Inspector John Caboche said: "This was a very serious incident and it is fortunate nobody was injured as a result of it. Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working, ensure that their workforce is adequately trained and provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working."
The Scaffolding Health and Safety Advisor at Simian Risk Management, Mike Dean, said: "Sadly, incidents such as this are all too common, when they are actually very simple to prevent. Any scaffold built to the appropriate standards by CISRS qualified Scaffolders can withstand the worst that the British weather can throw at it. Scaffolding incidents involving high wind can very often be attributed to poor work techniques and in reality, extreme weather just exploits weaknesses in the systems of work that have been applied.”<
Though carrying a valid CISRS/CSCS is not required by law at the present time, Mitchell's Scaffolding Ltd insist that all of our operatives do so; this is just one aspect of our ongoing commitment to safety. We also work closely with leading specialists and organisations in health and safety like Simian Risk Management, CHAS, ConstructionLine, Acclaim and the Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS).
To find out more about our work, please visit the 'Portfolio' and 'Credentials' sections of our website. Get in touch with our expert team if you need any further information or advice.