Workplace accidents are in the rise with statistics showing that almost 30% of fatal injuries were caused in construction sites in the year 2010-2011. This sums up to the maximum number of fatalities in industry in the UK. The most dangerous activity is working at heights in construction work.
Health and Safety consultant, Maria Anderson of Workplace Law reeled off statistics while warning industries that neglect of health and safety regulations would result in severe consequences as in the case of Gary Hampton of Fenton who fell from a height of 7 meters while working on a scaffolding in a factory at Stoke-on-Trent.
The scaffolding company, Scaffold Company Fred Lewis Ltd, employed the 28 year old who was a father to 3 children, to fix the scaffolding for the factory on Plantation Road in Newstead Industrial Estate. It was while fixing the scaffolding that the weak roof gave way and Gary Hampton fell through.
Six weeks in hospital for multiple injuries to his thighs, both wrists, vertebrae and lungs, has left him still suffering from severe pain in the left leg and out of work as he is unable to take on further manual labor.
The scaffolding company was prosecuted, heard at the Fenton Magistrate’s Court and pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. They paid a fine of £10,000 and further £19,000 costs.
HSE inspectors reported that a proper survey into the job specifics had not been done nor had the employees been trained. No supervision of work took place. Maria Anderson stressed that this accident could have been prevented had the company chalked out a strategy for work, made a basic risk assessment and taken the precaution of a planned work schedule with adequate supervision!