AKM Fabrications


  • AKM Fabrications
  • Unit J, Buckshaw Link
  • Ordnance Way, Buckshaw Village
  • Chorley, PR7 7EL

Guardrails and man anchors ‘could easily have prevented fall’


The HSE has urged construction companies to make sure they use guardrails and man anchors to protect all workers who need access to partially constructed scaffolds, following one avoidable incident in early 2015.

On February 23rd, a 39-year-old man was dismantling the second lift of a scaffold at a site in East Anglia, on a section with no guardrails, and without wearing a harness or lanyard to clip on to a man anchor.

He not only fell from the level on which he was working, but collided with scaffolding twice during the course of his five-metre journey to the ground.

Nine ribs on his left side were broken in the fall, his skull and spleen were both fractured, and his lung was punctured, leading to a five-day hospital stay and up to four months off work.

In the absence of guardrails and with no harness – and no other form of edge protection in the area where he was working – there was nothing to prevent the fall, which might otherwise have been avoided.

HSE inspector Julie Rayner said: “This incident could easily have been avoided had a guard rail been in place or if [he] had been provided with a harness and lanyard to wear which was clipped on when he was working.

“This case clearly highlights the need to ensure that all people working for you, employees or not, are suitably trained and that they know the required standards and implement them.”

As a result of the incident, the man’s employer was fined £8,000, with further costs of just over £3,000, for a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, regulation 6(3).

Temporary guardrails are ideal for this type of issue, whether for scaffolding suppliers or roofing contractors, and are easy to transport and to erect correctly, with mobile man anchors for areas where edge protection is not viable.