Portsmouth construction boss fined £1,600 for dangerous scaffolding

A picture used in the prosection of Portsmouth construction firm boss Graham Pedaltey
A picture used in the prosection of Portsmouth construction firm boss Graham Pedaltey
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THE owner of a construction firm has been fined after scaffolds were erected with dangerous faults.

Graham Pedaltey, trading as Graham’s Scaffolds, put workers lives at risk by putting up scaffolds several metres high for them to work on but with potentially lethal defects.

It could have seen builders fall from unguarded platforms or through rotting wooden planks.

The scaffolding was put up in and around Portsmouth over several months at the end of 2013.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Mr Pedalty at Portsmouth Magistrates Court for safety breaches after investigating a particularly hazardous scaffold that he was responsible for in North End Avenue last year.

The court heard that the scaffold was not tied to the building so was insecure and more liable to collapse.

There were few, if any, guardrails on the lifts – or working platforms – to prevent falls from height.

Many of the boards were rotten and damaged and could have broken under workers’ feet.

Despite remedial work requested by HSE being carried out on the scaffold by Mr Pedaltey, there were still defects.

Graham Pedaltey, trading as Graham’s Scaffolds, of Queens Road, Portsmouth, was fined £1,600 and ordered to pay £600 in costs after admitting breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Work at Height Regulations.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Peter Snelgrove said: ‘Mr Pedaltey not only erected numerous unsafe scaffolds, but also relied on his knowledge from training delivered in 1979 - more than 30 years earlier.

‘He has now been prohibited from erecting scaffolds until he has completed further training to acquaint himself with up-to-date safety legislation and scaffolding standards.

‘His failings created a risk of death or serious personal injury. Scaffolds are temporary structures and their integrity and safety must be ensured to, in turn, safeguard the workers and passers-by.’