A painting company has been fined $150,000 after one of its employees fell off a mobile scaffolding.  The Court found that the mobile scaffolding had not been assembled correctly in accordance with the instructions on the side of the scaffold.  The employer also failed to check that it had been assembled correctly and failed to monitor the use of the scaffolding.

The employee fell off the platform and sustained serious injuries including a skull fracture and was off work for 18 months after the accident.

Although a fine of $150,000 was imposed, this would have been $285,000 except for the financial incapacity of the company to pay the larger sum.  In addition to the fine they were also ordered to pay $35,000 for emotional harm and $7,000 for other costs.

Employers that are using equipment provided by others must ensure that it is assembled and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and that they check that their employees are correctly using the equipment during its use.

Alan Knowsley

Health & Safety Lawyer