EDF Energy Contracting has been fined £160,000 after one of its maintenance workers fell more than five metres to his death. The company pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005 at Chichester Crown Court and was ordered to pay a fine of £160,000 as well as court costs of almost £25,000.
On 2 August 2007 EDF employee James Gordon was dismantling a mobile scaffold tower in the sports hall of Worthing High School in West Sussex when the accident happened. The scaffolding had been used to carry out high-level maintenance to lighting and heating appliances within the sports hall.
The top working platform had been removed and Gordon was dismantling the intermediate platform when he stumbled and fell. There were no handrails on the scaffold and he fell more than five meters, suffering fatal head injuries. HSE Inspector Russell Beckett said: “It is important that all tower scaffolds are erected and dismantled correctly and that guard rails are fitted so as to prevent falls. All too often tower scaffolds are used incorrectly without the correct handrails.
“All working platforms must be provided with suitable edge protection. Guard rails should be at least 950mm high and an intermediate guard rail should be provided so that workers can’t fall through any unprotected gaps.” To ensure your operatives are working safely TB Davies provides PASMA certified training and a wide range of towers that employ the HSE approved 3T (Through The Trapdoor) method of erection.