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Abusive scaffolder given suspended sentence

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HSE inspector subjected to abuse from scaffolder who had unsafely erected scaffolding.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Steven Connolly was working unsafely and putting himself at serious risk of falling from the scaffold. Shouting abuse at an HSE inspector who had attempted to halt the work, Connolly left the scaffold in an unsafe and incomplete condition with no warning for subsequent users.

He was sentenced to 24 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, tagged and ordered to pay costs of £2,000.

After the hearing HSE inspector, Andrew Cousins said:

An already worrying situation was compounded by the defendant’s unwarranted abuse of a public official and then leaving the scaffold in a perilous condition. He effectively obstructed the inspector in the exercise of her duty by his attitude, language and behaviour as well as his refusal to provide his identity or who he was working for.

Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working. Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.

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