A company in Cambridgeshire and its Directors have been prosecuted in result of an unsafe scaffold collapsing into a street in Stretham.

This occurred on 18 April 2013 only three days after it had been built in front of a house by the company.

Parties were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on 31 July 2014 after investigation. The investigation found that the two-storey structure had not been secured safely or properly. It was around 11 metres long and 4.5 metres high.

Ironically, a piece of plastic, which had been attached to protect passers-by as the work was being carried out, acted as a sail that caused the scaffolding to blow over in the wind.

The company was fined a total of £7 500 and ordered to pay £526 in costs after pleading guilty to two breaches, one of the Work at Height Regulations SI 2005/735 and the other of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The Director was fined £5 000 with £500 costs after pleading guilty to the same Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 offences.

HSE inspector, John Berezansky commented: “It was extremely fortunate that no-one was working on the scaffold at the time and that no-one or nothing was hit when it fell. This is a busy High Street used by children to get to and from the local school. Had the scaffold fell during the morning or afternoon school run it could have been a different story.”