RMB ScaffoldingThe Westminster Magistrates’ Court has sentenced a Surrey-based building firm after their scaffolding collapsed into the street.

Alliance Building and Contracting Ltd was the principal contractor for a demolition and build project in Lillie Road, Fulham, in 2011 when the accident happened. The firm had put up scaffolding in order to carry out the work but the scaffolding collapsed at about lunchtime on 3 October 2011. The collapse fortunately produced no casualties but the Health and Safety Executive subsequently investigated and recommended that the firm be prosecuted for breaching health and safety laws.

The matter came before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 3 October 2011. The firm – which is in voluntary liquidation and did not attend the hearing – was found guilty of a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. A fine of £10,000 was imposed and the company was ordered to pay costs of £7,190.

Health and Safety Inspector Mr Charles Linfoot said after the prosecution: “Scaffold collapses are infrequent in the construction industry, but when they occur, they often cause serious injury, fatalities and major damage. Lillie Road is a busy one and it is a matter of chance that the collapse, brought about by the safety failures of Alliance Building & Contracting, did not have more serious consequences.”

Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Fortunately this breach of health and safety did not injure or kill anyone but health and safety legislation is principally in place to ensure that such unfortunate events are minimized and that those who breach the law are punished when they do.”

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The Direct 2 Lawyers Employment Team post daily on interesting employment law cases, Employment Tribunal judgments and Employment Appeal Tribunal judgments. All of the Employment Team posts are written by qualified specialist employment lawyers

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