• Robert Spicer

Scaffolding Death: Prison Sentence

Scaffolding death: prison sentence

Health and Safety Executive v Mark Anthony Hayes t/a WSS Scaffolding (2014) Southwark Crown Court, September 4.

Mark Anthony Hayes, the owner of WSS Scaffolding, has been sentenced to 15 months imprisonment following the death of a scaffolder.

Significant points of the case

  • In July 2012 Grant Dunmall, a scaffolder employed by Hayes, fell 14 metres to his death from a tower scaffold in Notting Hill.

  • There was no edge protection on the scaffold and no other means, for example a fall arrest harness, to prevent or mitigate a fall.

  • Hayes had failed to properly plan, supervise and carry out work at height in a safe manner.

  • In 2013 Hayes had been fined for failing to provide legally required documents related to his management of work at height after he had ignored a notice to prduce served by the HSE.

Hayes was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment for a breach of regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

A spokesperson for the HSE is reported to have commented after the case that the investigation into Dunmall’s death had been delayed because of Hayes’ lack of co-operation. His wilful obstruction served to accentuate the fact that his systems and procedures for safely managing work at height were sorely lacking and fell short of the standards expected from a competent scaffolder.

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