An apprentice worker was badly injured after he fell off scaffolding which was not properly secured at Pendennis Shipyard Ltd in Falmouth. In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) today (27 April), Truro magistrates heard that David Banks, from St Austell, who was 19 at the time, suffered knee injuries in the fall which happened on 27 April, 2011.
HSE's investigation found that Mr Banks was working in the dry dock to clear and strip away plastic tenting which had been used to enclose a boat while it was being painted. The teenager was working on the first level of scaffolding boards when they tipped, causing him to fall around two metres to the dock floor below. The injuries sustained to his knees in the fall resulted in Mr Banks needing physiotherapy.
The court heard that Pendennis Shipyard Ltd had already been warned about the risks associated with working at height and had been issued with four Improvement Notices and one Prohibition Notice relating to type of work by the HSE since 2009. Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector, Melissa Lai-Hung said:
"Mr Banks was unaware that the scaffold planks were insecure and there were no safety rails in place. The company provided no safe working method for its workforce, there was no risk assessment for the work and a lack of information, training, instruction and supervision at the site. This incident could easily have had much more serious consequences for Mr Banks."
Pendennis Shipyard Ltd, of The Docks, Falmouth, pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £6,288 in costs.
Further information on how to reduce the risk of working at height can be found on the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/falls/