Scaffolder avoids jail after collapse

A Wigan construction worker has been given a suspended jail sentence and slapped with a fine after scaffolding collapsed at a site near Stoke.

Monday, 13th March 2017, 10:07 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:47 am
The scaffolding crushed six cars

Mark Kinsley of Little Lane in Pemberton pleaded guilty to breaching Section Three of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 after scaffolding that he had erected collapsed at a Co-Op car park in Loggerheads.

The scaffold collapsed into the car park at the side of the store, on December 5, 2015, crushing a number of vehicles below.

North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard that Kinsley had been subcontracted to erect a scaffold, with debris netting attached along the full length, for roofing work on the Co-Op store.

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The scaffolding was erected by Kinsley and two of his employees, on November 19, 2015 but the subcontractor did not design the scaffold correctly or ensure it was tied to the building in any way.

Kinsley was fined £1400 and sentenced to 16 weeks in custody, suspended for 12 months and was also ordered to pay costs of £1,648.

After conducting an investigation into the incident, the Health and Safety Executive found that Kinsley failed to properly design or erect the scaffold in a “safe and appropriate manner”.

Investigators found that Kinsley’s actions put members of the public and workers at risk.

Speaking after the hearing, Health and Safety Executive inspector Katherine Blunt said: “This was a very serious incident and it is fortunate nobody was injured as a result of it.

“The case highlights the importance of following industry guidance and in order to design and erect scaffolding in a safe manner, which does not raise risk to members of the public and workers using the scaffold.”

The scaffolding, which was around 40m in length, was brought down during strong winds.”

The incident happened at around 9.30am on a Saturday morning, damaging six cars.

Nobody was in the cars at the time of the incident but the Co-op was closed for six hours to allow the scaffolding to be moved and the cars taken away.

Kinsley was operating as a sole trader at the time of the incident.