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R J Scaffolding (Bristol) Limited has received a £26,000 fine and will be forced to pay an additional £1,600 after an employee fell from scaffolding.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) stated that the worker fell from a six-metre height and was induced into a two-week coma. He suffered serious injuries, which included loss of vision in one of his eyes and numerous skull fractures.

The investigation conducted by HSE found that the employee was not only untrained, but that his company had also failed to provide him with suitable equipment, such as the appropriate workwear. The supervisor had also been found to have had little to no knowledge of required safety techniques.

The company pleaded guilty at Bristol Magistrates’ Court after being accused of violating Regulation 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 for the incident, which occurred in June of last year.

Ian Whittles, an inspector from HSE, was clear on how the incident could have been prevented by the firm. He said:

“If industry recognised safe systems of erecting scaffold had been in place prior to the incident, the life changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”

It hasn't been revealed which firm provides cover for RJ Scaffolding.

The HSE is clear on the rules in its health and safety guidance for employers. It states that compensation is not required if reasonable steps have been taken to prevent harm or accidents to workers. However, should a court find an employer liable, they can receive financial assistance for compensation of workers illness or injuries through liability insurance.


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