Scaffolding Firm Fined After Worker Killed In Fall

A scaffolding firm has been fined over
£60,000 after one of their employees suffered a fatal fall when the
ladder he was using collapsed underneath him.


Graham Readfearn was working on a loft
conversion in the area of Chorlton, Manchester when the accident
occurred. He was whisked to hospital soon afterwards, but his
injuries proved fatal and he tragically passed away 17 days

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE)
launched a campaign against the Darwen firm that Mr Readfern, 56,
worked for – claiming that the scaffolding he had been working on
was not built high
to prevent his fall. Newhey Loft Conversions Ltd have
since pleaded guilty to three separate counts of breaching HSE
regulations, and subsequently penalised with a fine for their
negligence of employee health and safety.

Understanding The Risks Of Working At

Matt Greenly – the inspector for the HSE –
has since spoken of his dismay at the death of Mr Redfearn, and in
light of this incident has called for firms to take height
risk more seriously
. Greenly criticised Newhey Loft Conversions
Ltd for showing a “lack of thought” during their risk assessment
procedures, and pointed to the fine line between safety and

“At a cost of only a few hundred pounds, Mr
Readfearn never would have suffered a fall of this scale” he told
reporters. “They (Newhey Loft Conversions Ltd) should have
increased the height of the scaffolding”.

The law states that employers who are
responsible for situations where it is necessary to work at height,
must both understand, and prepare for, the risks to employees.
Employees do, of course, have a responsibility to act in a way that
doesn’t endanger themselves, but the working environment must first
be made as safe as possible.

The scaffolding firm were forced to pay
£20,000 in prosecutions costs, and a further £40,000 for failure to
follow up on creating a safe environment for their employees.