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Taking precautions to prevent falls while working at height is 'often simple', according to an expert.

Martin Overstall of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) made the comment after a contractor was fined for an incident in which the organisation's inspectors witnessed staff working on an unsafe scaffold.

According to the spokesman, such problems could be avoided by proper planning and the use of correct systems, which could include fall arrest equipment.

'Employers must also ensure that protective measures remain in place for the whole duration of a contract,' he added.

'Proper planning for such work and taking necessary precautions to prevent falls are often simple and there is ample free guidance readily available to help companies take the right action.'

Last week, the HSE announced plans to inspect construction sites in the Derbyshire area.

According to the organisation, the move was made after research found that the region had a poor record of implementing a number of health and safety guidelines.

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