HSE issues warning after child is seen on scaffolding

HSE issues warning after 10 y.o. spotted on scaffolding 2847

Construction workers have been urged not to let their children climb on scaffolding after a ten-year-old was spotted on a structure on Merseyside.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) issued this warning after a boy was photographed spending time with his dad, who was carrying out repairs six metres off the ground on a house in Kirkby.

Onlookers reported seeing the youngster moving along a narrow plank on the scaffolding while gripping on a frame to prevent him falling. As he made his way to the top of the structure, the boy's father realised the rungs of the ladder were too far apart and the parent had to dangerously place his child's legs on each successive platform.

A passing HSE officer issued an immediate prohibition notice and told the builder to take apart the scaffolding, which he said was not fit for purpose.

The HSE later prosecuted the man and Liverpool Magistrates Court was told the structure made by the unnamed construction worker was not secure and handrails were missing on various levels.

Residents in the home being repaired were also put at risk of falling objects as no boards had been fitted around the scaffolding to prevent this happening.

While HSE prosecutions normally name those in violation of laws, on this occasion the authority decided to not address the man by his real identity to protect the identity of the ten-year-old.

The anonymous man was as ordered to carry out 80 hours of community service in the next 12 months and to pay prosecution costs of £200.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Matt Greenly said: "We understand it can be difficult to find things to keep children occupied during the school holidays, but taking them into potentially dangerous workplaces isn't the answer.

"The ten-year-old boy could easily have been seriously injured or even killed if he had slipped and fallen from the scaffolding but he trusted that his dad knew what he was doing."

According to recent HSE figures, a total of 39 construction workers have so far died in 2012-13 because of accidents.

Posted by Chris Stevenson