Posted: Wednesday 10 April 2019
Scaffolding is one of the most useful tools in the construction industry. They allow for an enormous variety of renovation and building projects or all shapes and sizes. This is because they facilitate working at height, something often unachievable through using ladders alone.
However, working at height isn’t to be taken lightly; it is potentially hazardous work even when carried out properly. Unfortunately, there are people who are too quick to gloss over the regulations in place of workers’ safety. Sometimes, this can lead to accidents. In this post, we show why it’s vital to do things properly.
An article in @ScaffoldingNews paints a dangerous picture:
“The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) began investigating after receiving information from members of the public. During the investigation, it was found that Kenneth Morris had made a deliberate decision not to provide the correct scaffolding or means of dust capture in order to save money. Mr Morris had also failed to insure his employees against any injury or ill health sustained during the course of their work.”
It’s an expensive punishment too: he was given a 26 week suspended sentence and 180 hours of community service. If that wasn’t enough, he was also made to pay court costs of £2,000.
This case is a prime example of the penalties that await any construction company owner who fails to put their workers’ safety first - even if no one ends up actually getting hurt.
If an accident occurs on your project, you’re the one who’s responsible. If you’ve followed the regulations and made every effort to prevent accidents, then your insurance company will compensate everyone involved and help make sure your work is not disrupted.
On the other hand, if you’ve bent the rules or not provided your workers with adequate training and equipment, your insurance policy won’t pay out. It will have contingencies in the event that you have been negligent. Without an insurance payment, your project may grind to a halt.
Worse still, in the event that someone’s injury could have been prevented, a worker will be able to sue your company or even you personally for the negligence. Increasingly, the UK legal system is taking a dim view of industrial accident cases that could have been prevented.
Even if you’ve taken the right precautions and assembled your scaffolding properly, extreme weather conditions can make a mockery of your efforts. But these kinds of events are rare, and companies can be forgiven in these situations.
As long as a scaffold has been assembled by experts and is then subject to weekly checks during construction, your scaffold should be a safe and easy way for your employees to work at height.
If you want to learn more about the rigorous standards we observe, or scaffolding in general, give us a call today. One of our friendly team will be able to answer any of your questions and give you a quote for your project.