Guardrails’ importance on construction sites has been highlighted once again with a Health & Safety Executive report of a fatality after a fall from height on unprotected scaffolding.
The HSE recently reported on an incident dating back to February 2010 and concerning a 26-year-old Lincolnshire man who was working on a residential property in Skegness.
He was a self-employed bricklayer, without the necessary experience or knowledge to erect or alter scaffolding, but was instructed to do so by the site manager.
The resultant platform he and a colleague erected was at a different height to other scaffolding on the site, and was not protected by guardrails.
During later work, the victim was pulling a trolley-load of bricks along the elevated platform when he fell, suffering fatal injuries, from the end of the scaffolding where there was no edge protection.
HSE principal inspector Richard Lockwood said: “There needs to be adequate control over scaffolding to ensure that it is – and remains – safe and fit for the purpose.”
The victim’s father also gave a moving statement, expressing his hope that his son’s death will prevent unsafe working practices in similar situations in the years to come.