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A scaffold specialist has been hit with a suspended prison sentence and an order to provide compensation to a worker injured by a falling piece of construction equipment.

Christopher Alan Harvey, whose business is called Cannock Wood Scaffolding, had installed lifting equipment to use on a roof flashing replacement contract. The equipment, a pulley wheel used in the hoisting of roofing materials, was being utilised by 27-year-old roofer Mark Jones.

However, when Jones was working with the equipment, the four kilogram 'gin wheel' failed, falling seven metres and striking him on his head. Jones was left with a fractured skull.

Following the incident on 8th August last year, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation and discovered that Harvey failed to adequately secure the equipment. The investigation also found that a lack of scaffold fittings or bracing being used.

Pleading guilty to a breach of the working at height health and safety regulations, Harvey was handed down a jail sentence of four months, which is suspended for a period of 12. He was also told to pay £2,500 in compensation to Jones and given costs of the court amounting to £527.56.

Highlighting how the incident was preventable, the HSE inspector on the case, Edward Fryer, commented:

“This incident was entirely preventable and could easily have been avoided had Mr Harvey followed the published guidance to attach the wheel securely.”

The published guidance, which also contains details of the right workwear to use when working at height, underlines how any scaffolding and lifting equipment used on site must be in a condition that is safe and minimises the risk of injuries or deaths.

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