Scaffold firm owner ‘put lives at risk’

Photo shows dangerous work at height

The owner of a Surrey-based scaffolding firm has been prosecuted after he and an employee were captured on camera balancing on a single rail some nine metres above ground.

The photos of the incident at a three-storey office in Horley on 4 February 2014, taken by a shocked member of the public, were sent to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which investigated.   Redhill Magistrates (4 Nov) heard how Jason Hewett, 44, the owner of Crest Scaffolding Services, had put his own life and the lives of two scaffolders in jeopardy by failing to have any fall prevention measures in place.

HSE, which brought the prosecution against Mr Hewett for safety breaches, told the court that one photo clearly depicts two workers balancing on a single pole with no guardrails to prevent them from falling from a dangerous height. Neither of them wore a harness.

A second photo shows two scaffolders working from boards but, once again, there was not one guardrail to be seen and no harnesses were in use to protect the men.

Jason Hewett, of Benhams Drive, Horley, Surrey, was fined £265 and ordered to pay £511 in costs after admitting a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Amanda Huff said:

“Jason Hewett put his own life at risk and the lives of two other workers by carrying out this scaffolding job in a totally unsafe manner.  Anyone falling from nine metres would likely be killed and that type of disregard for safety is totally unacceptable.

“Mr Hewett failed to follow basic safety precautions and heed the professional guidance available to scaffolding companies. Where practical when erecting scaffolding, they should work from a fully-boarded scaffold and guardrail. If this is not possible, all scaffolders should wear clipped-on harnesses.”

For further information and advice about working at height, visit

Notes to Editors:

Photo shows the dangerous work at height by Jason Hewett, who put himself and colleagues at serious risk of falling.

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.
  2. Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 state: “Where work is carried out at height, every employer shall take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.”

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