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Construction firms have been urged by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to ensure all protective equipment used on work sites is fit for use.

The body made the call after two companies were fined by Sheffield Crown Court after a man died and three were injured when an access cradle which was being used on an office building in the city collapsed.

People working on the site were using the cradle to carry out maintenance and painting jobs.

Discussing the incident, HSE principal inspector Dave Redman said that by 'failing to operate an effective maintenance regime', the companies involved 'betrayed the trust of workers whose lives depended on them'.

'All workers have a right to expect to be trained on how to use the equipment they are working with and there is plenty of advice and guidance available to employers in the construction industry to help them meet their legal obligations,' he added.

HSE inspector Tariq Khan recently also called for companies to provide those working at height with adequate training and personal protective equipment.

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