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Roofing contractor fined after scaffolder falls to his death

Roofing contractor Henderson and Aitken has been fined £53,000 after a worker died when he fell from a ladder that wasn’t securely attached to scaffolding.

Joseph Kane, an employee of the Aberdeen-based firm, fell from the top rungs of a ladder after it slipped sideways in Jute Street in the city on 21 September 2016.

The scaffold was erected by a Henderson and Aitken employee who was not a qualified nor competent scaffolder, a statement from the Health and Safety Executive said.

He had been asked to do this by a company director who was aware he was unqualified. The director then allowed three people to access the scaffolding.

The scaffold was not erected to the correct standard and the ladder was only tied using a blue nylon cord to only the left stile of the scaffold ledger.

Henderson and Aitken of Balmoral Terrace, Aberdeen, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Section 33(1) (c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It was fined £53,000 by Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

After the sentencing, HSE principal inspector Niall Miller said: “This tragic and preventable death highlights the need for those undertaking work at height to ensure that it is carried out safely, that industry guidance is followed and that the relevant regulations are complied with.

“It is vitally important that those planning and arranging for such work give sufficient regard to the risk posed to workers and members of the public through their actions.”

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