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Scaffolding boss jailed after ignoring HSE orders

The owner of a Rotherham scaffolding firm who ignored a Health and Safety Executive prohibition notice has been jailed after an untrained employee was injured in a 6m fall last year.

Philip Wolstenholme, who runs A1 Access Scaffolding, was today sentenced to three months’ imprisonment at Sheffield Crown Court after pleading guilty to two safety breaches.

These related to an incident in January 2007 where an employee and a colleague - neither of whom had been trained - were dismantling a scaffold when a badly supported scaffold board gave way.

One of the workers fell 6m to the ground, suffering significant injuries to his foot and spine.

The court heard Mr Wolstenholme had been issued an enforcement notice a year prior which prohibited him from allowing staff who had not been given proper training to erect or dismantle scaffolding.

The HSE said this followed other earlier incidents.

Due to the serious nature of the offences, the Magistrates referred the case to the Crown Court for sentencing.

HSE inspector Robert Cooper said: "Philip Wolstenholme wilfully disregarded advice given to him by HSE and the requirements of a prohibition notice served on him.

“In doing so he put the safety of his workers at great risk. In the time between the notice being served in March 2006 and the incident in January 2007, he had ample opportunity to train his employees.

"The injuries suffered by the employee were very serious and could very easily have been fatal.”