The owner of a Surrey-based scaffolding firm has been prosecuted after himself and an employee were caught on camera balancing on a single rail at nine metres above ground.
Photos of the incident at a three-storey office in Horley on 4 February 2014, were taken by a member of the public who was shocked at this. The photos were sent to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which then investigated the incident. Redhill Magistrates on the 4th of November heard how Jason Hewett, 44, the owner of Crest Scaffolding Services, put his own life as well as the lives of two scaffolders in danger by not having any fall prevention measures in place.
HSE, which brought the prosecution against Mr Hewett for safety breaches, told the court that one photo clearly shows two workers balancing on a single pole without guardrails preventing them from falling. Neither of them wore a harness.
The second photo shows two scaffolders working from boards however again there was not one guardrail to be seen and there were no harnesses were in use to protect them.
Jason Hewett, of Benhams Drive, Horley, Surrey, was fined £265 and ordered to pay £511 in costs after admitting a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector Amanda Huff said:
“Jason Hewett put his own life at risk and the lives of two other workers by carrying out this scaffolding job in a totally unsafe manner. Anyone falling from nine metres would likely be killed and that type of disregard for safety is totally unacceptable.
“Mr Hewett failed to follow basic safety precautions and heed the professional guidance available to scaffolding companies. Where practical when erecting scaffolding, they should work from a fully-boarded scaffold and guardrail. If this is not possible, all scaffolders should wear clipped-on harnesses.”