Scaffold inspectors fined for falsifying certificates before fall

Two scaffold inspectors have been prosecuted after a worker fell through a gap between scaffolding and a building.

An investigation later showed that safety certificates had been falsified.

Harper of Alkrington, Middleton and Arnold of Crookes, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and were each sentenced to 170 hours community service and ordered to pay £1,500 costs.

In March 2014 the 49-year-old worker stepped from an untiled roof onto a fixed scaffold whilst working on a re-roofing project, where he proceeded to fall through a gap between the scaffold and the building.

The worker survived but suffered fracture injuries to his spine and was required to wear a back brace for eight weeks.

The scaffolding in question had been signed off by Mr Stephen Harper of Harper of Alkrington and Mr Garry Arnold of Arnold of Crookes as safe for use, but a HSE investigation found that the relevant inspections had not been carried out and certificates had been falsified.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector, Matt Greenly, said: “Scaffold Inspectors are relied upon by workers and must be trusted. Falsely completing reports without carrying out a thorough inspection can lead to serious risks being missed and life changing accidents occurring.”

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Featured image: Brown concrete building, Josh Sorenson, CC0