Employee Sentenced for Failing to Take Care of Himself
An employee has been jailed for 26 weeks for not attaching his safety harness. Scaffolder Terrance Murray, 28, was photographed working on an 18 meter platform. He was wearing a safety harness that was not attached to the building or scaffolding.
Murray was convicted of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act. The Act obliges employees to “take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and other persons”.
The court heard that Murray was erecting scaffolding without building a safety rail or taking any other precautions to prevent him falling.
The HSE’s investigation found that Murray’s employers had taken reasonable steps to avoid working unsafely at height. Murray was experienced and well trained in health and safety. He also had the correct equipment available to him in order to work safely.
“(Murray) acted alone against his better interest and training to work without edge protection and safety measures in place”. He told the court that his actions were “a moment of stupidity”. In addition to a suspended 26-week sentence, Murray was ordered to complete 100 hours’ community service and to pay £615 in costs and victim surcharge.
HSE inspector Seve Gomez-Aspron said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work related fatalities in this country and should be taken seriously.
“This case highlights the importance of following industry guidance in order to erect scaffolding in a safe manner, which does not cause risk to members of the public and workers using the scaffold. It also serves to remind employees that they have a duty to look after themselves.”
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