A failure to erect guardrails or use man anchors when working on a five-storey, ten-metre-high scaffold tower has led to one firm being accused of putting the public at risk.
Spectators of the work being carried out in Covent Garden were so concerned that they took photographs of workers sat on the unprotected edge of the platform with their legs dangling over the edge.
The HSE took immediate enforcement action, and have once again warned of the risks to both employees and passers-by when the appropriate precautions, such as guardrails and man anchors, are not taken.
HSE inspector Andrew Verrall-Withers said: “None of the missing measures, such as guard rails and secured boards and ladders, were difficult to provide, and there was no excuse.”
He added that “people should be able to walk along a pavement” safe from the risk of a length of scaffolding being dropped by somebody working overhead.
In addition to the safety risks, there are of course the financial implications of enforcement; in this example, the company involved was fined £5,000, with £734 of costs to pay.