Shoosmiths has acted for a privately-owned scaffolding and rigging firm charged with an offence under the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
"We're very pleased with the service received from Shoosmiths. They're always on-hand and provided clear, commercial advice throughout. They clearly know their stuff, but they are also friendly and a pleasure to work with. This is a great result"
The company's managing director
The prosecution related to an accident suffered by an employee who was helping to install a scaffold to support a theatrical set.
The company had carried out a risk assessment and produced a method statement in advance of starting the project, in attempt to ensure it would be carried out safely. However, the set-up of the site had changed by the time that the job was started, which meant the approach for tackling the work had to be adapted. It was accepted by the firm that the method of working ultimately adopted and the equipment used was not suitable in the circumstances.
Working alongside George Roberts in Shoosmiths' Regulatory team, the company accepted responsibility for the accident and cooperated fully with the Health and Safety Executive's investigation from the outset. It also took extensive measures - such as reviewing health and safety policy and investing more in staff training - to ensure that the accident will not be repeated.
These factors, along with the company's previously unblemished health and safety record, and the early guilty plea led the court to take a lenient view. The company faced a maximum fine of £20,000 in the magistrates' court or an unlimited fine if the magistrates had chosen to pass the case on to the Crown Court, but the court chose to hand down a fine of only £5,000 plus costs.
Shoosmiths' Regulatory team are highly experienced in representing both companies and individuals in Health and Safety and other Regulatory investigations. If your company requires any assistance do not hesitate to contact us.