10:27AM, Wednesday 11 November 2020
Photo: Emma Sheppard
A scaffolding company has been fined £160,000 after its apparatus collapsed in central Maidenhead.
On April 30, 2018, a large scaffold in High Street, put up as part of the Colonnade demolition for the Chapel Arches project, toppled over onto several parked cars.
No one was hurt in the incident, but a hearing carried out at High Wycombe Magistrates Court on Monday heard how the collapse could have resulted in serious injury or loss of life.
An investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive following the incident found that the cause of the collapse was a lack of training and adequate instruction.
Formula Scaffolding (London) Limited, based in Chessington, was found guilty in its absence of breaching section 3(1) of Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £160,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,533.36
The investigation found that the worker who was dismantling the scaffold and removal of scaffold ties was not properly trained.
High winds that were blowing on the day of collapse caught the plastic sheeting that were on the scaffold, which acted like a ‘giant sail’, with it subsequently toppling over.
After the hearing, Health and Safety Executive Inspector John Caboche commented: “This was a very serious incident and it is fortunate nobody was injured as a result of it.
“Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working, ensure that their workforce is adequately trained and provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working.”
Police were called to the River Thames between Cookham and Bourne End yesterday at about 3pm, to reports that a teenage boy had entered the water but hadn’t been seen to leave.