Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Firms Fined for Collapse; Pensioner Trapped under Scaffolding

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Firms Fined for Collapse; Pensioner Trapped under Scaffolding

Article excerpt

Byline: Sara Nichol

TWO companies have been fined after an accident that saw a pensioner crushed beneath a pile of scaffolding.

Mary Scott, 70, suffered serious injuries when she was trapped under the collapsed scaffolding as she was shopping on Shields Road in Byker, Newcastle, two years ago.

Now Skyline Scaffolding Limited, who constructed the scaffolding, and Ashbrook Construction Services, the shop fitters that subcontracted Skyline, have now been fined more than pounds 10,000 for breaching Health and Safety laws.

From her home in Walker, Newcastle, Mrs Scott said: "I can only really remember the really loud 'whoosh' of the scaffolding falling.

"I then realised I was lying on the ground and it seemed like my foot was stuck. I couldn't see out from under the rubble then I made out two feet standing nearby.

"A voice then spoke to me and I was so relieved because I knew someone knew where I was. I wasn't in pain at that point and I don't remember much else, the rest is still a blur.

"The pain really started when I was in hospital. I was bruised right the way from my neck to my ankles. I really wanted to get out as soon as possible so I was determined to get up on my crutches.

"When I did get home, it was horrible, I was housebound for five months. I'm usually always out-and-about and I found being stuck inside a nightmare."

Ashbrook pleaded guilty at Newcastle Magistrates' Court to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Unrepresented Skyline, which was put into liquidation after the accident, were convicted of the same breach and a second offence of breaching the Work at Height Regulations.

Skyline was fined pounds 10,000 and ordered to pay pounds 4,182 costs while Ashbrook were sentenced to a pounds 3,000 fine with pounds 2,091.15 costs.

The court heard how Skyline, of Drum Industrial Estate, Birtley, had not erected the scaffolding properly by failing to ensure it was adequately secured to the building. …

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