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Ceiling contractor used hotchpotch scaffold tower

A worker suffered a multitude of injuries, including a brain haemorrhage, when he fell two metres from an unprotected scaffold tower.

The 43-year-old man, who has asked not to be named, was working for CME Ceilings Ltd when the incident took place on 18 January last year.

The company had been contracted to install a suspended ceiling at Croxteth Sports and Wellbeing Centre in Liverpool. It originally planned to use a scissor lift to reach the ceiling but failed to arrange for the equipment to be delivered to the site, and so the worker used a mobile scaffold tower instead.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the brakes of the scaffold tower had not been applied and there was no edge protection around the work platform. While the man was on the platform, the scaffold started to move and he lost his balance. He fell two metres and landed on the concrete floor below.

He suffered a brain haemorrhage, fractured skull, collapsed lung, broken collarbone, broken ribs, broken wrist, and multiple broken fingers. He stayed in intensive care for two weeks and has been unable to return to work owing to his injuries. His brain injury has also had a long-term impact on his personality.

An HSE investigation found the scaffold tower was made up of parts from several different manufacturers, all of which were in a poor or damaged condition.¨HSE inspector Mark Baker said: “One of CME Ceiling’s employees has suffered severe physical and mental injuries that will affect him for the rest of his life.

“The scaffolding tower the company provided simply wasn’t up to the job and his life was put in danger the minute he started to climb it.

“This case should act as a warning to firms not to cut corners and to make sure they use the right equipment for the job they’re doing.”

CME Ceilings appeared in court on 18 September and pleaded guilty to breaching s2(1) of the HSWA 1974. It was fined £5000 and ordered to pay the same amount in costs.

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