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Manchester firm fined after it put workers at risk with unsafe scaffolding

A rendering company in Manchester has been fined £3,000 after a HSE inspector noticed unsafe scaffolding on a house renovation as he happened to be driving past.

The company had been issued with a Prohibition Notice after a HSE inspector drove through the area on 17 February 2022 and spotted the scaffolding its workers were using at the property.

HSE inspector Phil Redman noticed unsafe scaffolding when driving passed the site on 17 February 2022

RS Rendering Specialists Limited disregarded the notice while carrying out rendering works on a house in Belgrave Crescent, Eccles, Manchester.

The HSE inspector noted there were gaps in the scaffolding, putting the company’s staff at risk from falling at height. RS Rendering Specialists had also failed to plan the work safely at the property and a mandatory weekly inspection of the scaffolding had not been carried out.

The subsequent Prohibition Notice banned the company from using the unsafe scaffolding.

However, on 23 February 2022, the same HSE inspector drove past the property again and noticed that two workers from the company were operating on the scaffolding it had been prohibited from using.

The company ignored a prohibition notice served on them by HSE and carried on working on the unsafe scaffold

The colour of the house had changed since the inspector’s previous visit, indicating that the company had continued to use the same scaffolding and had completely disregarded the Prohibition Notice.

HSE guidance can be found at: Work at height – HSE

There was a large gap to which workers were at risk from falling between scaffold and front door

RS Rendering Specialists Limited, of Athol Road Manchester, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 4(1) and 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,000 at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on 24 November 2023.

HSE inspector Phil Redman said: “We will not hesitate to prosecute companies who choose to ignore enforcement notices issued to prevent risks from falls from height or any other health and safety related matters.

“This case highlights how such actions will not be tolerated under any circumstances.”

 

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. More information about the legislation referred to in this case is available.
  3. Further details on the latest HSE news releases is available.
  4. Guidance on working at height is available.