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Untrained scaffolder loses leg after fall

Andrew Gore, 37, from Mountain Ash in the Cynon Valley, had never had any recognised training. He was helping to dismantle scaffolding outside a nursing home in Merthyr Mawr Road, Bridgend, in June 2013 when he fell 4 metres to the ground.

The incident was investigated by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted his employer, Mills Scaffold Company Ltd, at Bridgend Magistrates yesterday (23rd June).

The court heard that the scaffold, erected by Mills Scaffold Company, was three lifts high and Mr Gore was working on the second lift. Another scaffolder was on the lift above, passing down parts of the scaffold to him, which he, in turn, passed on to a labourer on the ground.

Mr Gore was not wearing a harness and the lift was just two boards wide. The firm had failed to put any guardrails in place. Mr Gore had undone the swivel coupling at the bottom of a brace, which he then inadvertently leaned on. The brace moved and he fell to the ground, causing severe injuries. Since the incident, he has spent most of the last year in hospital and undergone several operations.

“This was a totally needless incident which could have been avoided if Mills Scaffold Company had ensured a safe system of work had been in place. And it was their responsibility to make sure trained workers were used on the scaffolding. There is plenty of industry guidance available about safely dismantling scaffolding.

“If simple methods of work had been followed, levels of competency checked and good supervision in place on site, this work could have been carried out safely. Falls from height remains one of the most common causes of fatalities and major injuries in the construction industry, with more than five incidents every day.”

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