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Bricklayer’s tragic death highlights importance of scaffolding safety

The tragic death of a Lincolnshire bricklayer who fell from unguarded scaffolding has again highlighted the importance of safety while working at height.

HSE inspectors reminded contractors that robust systems must be in place to implement health and safety procedures during any work at height following Justin Gillman’s fatal fall while working on a residential building site in Skegness in February 2010.

Their warning came after Chestnut Homes Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £40,000 at Lincoln Crown Court.

Site manager Peter Tute was ordered to carry out 240 hours community service after pleading guilty to breaching Section 7(a) of the Act.

The court heard that Mr Gillman, 26, was walking backwards along the scaffold platform while pulling a trolley load of bricks when he fell to his death. There was no guard rail to prevent him falling, the court was told.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Principal Inspector Richard Lockwood said: “Before entrusting tasks to workers, principal contractors and site managers must ensure they are competent to do the task being given to them.

“There needs to be adequate control over scaffolding to ensure that it is and remains safe and fit for the purpose.

“Principal contractors must have robust systems that ensure that their policies and procedures are implemented properly on their sites.”

Justin’s father, Alan Gillman, added: “If something positive can come from this case, and Justin’s death, it’s that I just hope people will be prepared to say ‘no’ to their employer if they’re asked to do something they’re not trained to do, or it wouldn’t be safe for them to do.”

Click the link to read the full story from the HSE – House builder and site manager prosecuted after bricklayer’s fatal fall

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