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Firm in court after employee loses leg

Andrew Gore, who had no recognised training as a scaffolder, had to have his lower leg amputated after falling from some unguarded scaffolding.

What happened?

The 37-year-old was helping to dismantle scaffolding outside a nursing home, when he fell four metres onto the ground below.

The scaffold, which was erected by Mills Scaffold Company Ltd, was three lifts high and Mr Gore was working on the second lift. One of his colleagues was passing parts down to him from the third lift, which he, in turn, passed on to a colleague on the ground.

An investigation into the incident found that each of the lifts were only two boards wide, and Mr Gore had not been wearing a harness. Additionally, the firm had also failed to ensure that guardrails were in place to protect workers.

The incident happened after Mr Gore had undone the swivel coupling at the bottom of a brace, which he then inadvertently leaned on. As the brace moved he fell to the ground and sustained serious injuries.

He has since spent the majority of the year in hospital, and has undergone a number of operations including having his lower leg amputated because of an infection following the injury.

What was the outcome?

Mills Scaffold Company Ltd was fined a total of £15,000 and ordered to pay £1,118 in costs, after pleading guilty to a breach of the Work at Height regulations and Reporting of Injuries Regulations, as the incident was not reported for six months.

HSE Inspector, Hayley Healey, said:

“Mr Gore has suffered a great deal of pain and life changing injuries.
As a single parent of two young children, one of whom he
has custody for, his life has changed dramatically.

“This was a totally needless incident which could have been avoided if Mills
Scaffold Company had ensured a safe system of work had been in place.
And it was their responsibility to make sure trained workers were
used on the scaffolding. There is plenty of industry guidance
available about safely dismantling scaffolding.

“If simple methods of work had been followed, levels of competency
checked and good supervision in place on site, this work could
have been carried out safely. Falls from height remains one
of the most common causes of fatalities and major
injuries in the construction industry, with
more than five incidents every day.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

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