Blog - Accidents at Work

Fine for Scaffolder after Member of Public Hits Head on Metal Pole

A fine has been issued to a scaffolder after a member of the public hit her head on a metal pole.

Scaffolder Thomas Hannen was contracted by Argyll and Bute Council to undertake work on the Isle of Bute during January 2011. He was asked to put up scaffolding at the Royal Hotel so that work could be undertaken to assess the condition of the disused building.

Mr Hannen and his team began work on the construction of the scaffolding without stopping or discouraging the public from continuing to use the pavement at the site. On the same day, the council inspected the work that had begun, and made Mr Hannen aware that the pavement was being obstructed by a scaffold pole. The council also stressed the need to prioritise safety due to the busy nature of the pavement and area.

Later on that day, a member of the public hit her head on a scaffold pole as she walked beneath the scaffolding. The pole had been placed at a height of 1.5 metres and had not been covered with any padding or warning tape.

The 61 year old woman fell and broke her ankle after hitting her head on the pole. The cut on her head needed stitches, which she received at hospital.

A prosecution was brought by the HSE against Mr Hannen for numerous safety failings. He had not undertaken a risk assessment for the work and had declined on offer to close the pavement. He also did not divert the public from the work area or use methods such as warning tape to warn of the danger.

After admitting to breaking health and safety law he was fined £1,670 yesterday.

Post your comments

What could your claim be worth?