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The Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association (PASMA) has highlighted the importance of scaffold tower training after a roofing company was fined when two workers were seriously injured in a fall.
Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how on 27 November 2018, two employees of Rooffabs Direct Ltd had been working with Paul McMahon, the sole director of the company, to install signage at retail premises on Bury New Road, Prestwich. The employees used a tower scaffold to carry out the work. During the afternoon, when McMahon was no longer on site, the tower scaffold moved away from the building and the two employees fell approximately two metres, suffering fractures to their legs and ankles.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the tower scaffold had not been erected by someone with suitable training. There were missing guard rails on the scaffold and no outriggers in place at the time of the incident. The company also failed to report the incident as required by the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).
Rooffabs Direct Limited of St Mary’s place, Bury, pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and section 3(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Regulations 2013. The company was fined £20,000.
Paul McMahon of Bury Road, Rochdale, pleaded guilty under section 37 to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and section 3(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Regulations 2013. McMahon was ordered to complete 100 hours community service, pay compensation orders of £500 each for the two injured persons and was ordered to pay costs of £1,000.
Commenting after the conclusion of the case, Roger Verallo, PASMA chairman and managing director of Euro Towers said: “This case highlights the importance of training for all those who assemble, dismantle, inspect or move tower scaffolds. Just look what can go wrong when it’s done incorrectly. Anyone who has completed a PASMA course knows that guardrails and outriggers, or stabilisers, are absolutely essential for fall prevention and stability.
“And PASMA training isn’t just for operatives. There’s a new course – Towers for Managers – aimed at those who supervise work on towers. It helps them gain and demonstrate the competence required by the Work at Height Regulations. Afterwards, they know what good practice looks like and can be more proactive at preventing falls. As this accident reminds us, even falls from low heights can inflict life-changing injuries.
“Every day PASMA and its members work towards a world where an accident like this isn’t such a familiar story.”