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Safety warning for Brighton scaffolding firm
All scaffolders need a head for heights.
But according to the Health and Safety Executive these workmen in Brighton should also have had a rail or harness to stop them plunging to the shopping street below.
The team from Pavilion Scaffolding were working at Mitre House, Western Road, when a reader videoed them lifting a pole six storeys and attaching it to their scaffolding.
The reader contacted the Argus, who passed the footage to the HSE, which acts as the watchdog for workplace safety.
Its inspectors confronted the firm’s bosses with the video and warned them they could face action if they are caught out again.
They have sent them an official letter.
The men were working at about noon on Tuesday (August 28) when they were spotted.
After viewing the footage a HSE inspector told The Argus the man at the bottom of the images should have been wearing a hard hat.
But his biggest concern was for the men at the top.
No safety harness
One man is seen receiving a pole on a gin wheel, then walking several yards with it before attaching it to the top of the construction.
According to the HSE the company should have put up a guard rail as soon as it built that level or “lift” – and without a guard rail the company should have given the workers safety harnesses to wear.
Those measures are recommended to comply with the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
Kevin Herriott, of Pavilion Scaffolding, which is based in Kemp Town Place, Brighton, said: “You could probably go around Brighton today and see 40 different companies doing the same thing.
“Our supervisor has dealt with it with the HSE.
“One of the chaps had just forgotten to put [a harness] on.
“We work to it [the HSE guidelines] 100%.
The HSE confirmed it had contacted the company.
A spokesman for the HSE said: “The incident has been marked against the company’s record but that is as far as it will go this time.
“If a similar matter is raised against the company in the future further action may well be taken and this incident will be taken into account.”
The agency thanked The Argus for the footage and urged people who wish to report possible health and safety breaches to take photo or video footage to substantiate their complaints.