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Bedford firm fined £16k for unsafe scaffolding

Bedfodshire building firm Cowlgrove was fined £16,000 last week after admitting 10 breaches of health and safety legislation.
The company, which trades as Cowlgrove Developers, was fined at Bedfordshire Magistrates Court for providing unsafe access and scaffolding during the construction of a three-storey block of flats in Linden Road, Bedford.

Cowlgrove had instructed Luton roofing sub-contractor H. McIntyre & Sons to install the roof of a bay window, but in March an HSE inspector saw two men working unsafely inside a scaffold which Cowlgrove had provided.

The men were at risk of falling due to a lack of suitable hand rails and the two workmen had gained access using an unsecured, extending ladder. The inspector also saw one of the roofers balance on two putlog scaffold tubes to the right of the bay window with nothing to stop him falling through the scaffold.

HSE investigating inspector Stephen Hartley said: 'Employers are expected to organise and plan health and safety effectively, and take appropriate measures to prevent people falling. Where standards are poor HSE will prosecute those responsible, even if there has been no injury as in this case.'

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