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Orchard Construction bosses fined after glazier broke leg on site in Tunbridge Wells

A father and son have been fined after a glazier fell through faulty scaffolding and broke his leg.

Paul Mackmin required extensive surgery after the incident in St James' Road in Tunbridge Wells in December 2018.

St James' Road in Tunbridge Wells
St James' Road in Tunbridge Wells

Operations manager Martin Hayes and contracts manager Tim Hayes both admitted a breach of Health And Safety at Work Act at Maidstone Crown Court.

The incident happened while their company, Orchard Construction, was working on an extension to a period house.

Prosecutor Alex Stein told how scaffolding had been erected to enable glaziers to put three panels in place.

But the company, of The Old Post Office in Queen Street, Sandhurst, had failed to remedy "serious defects" in the scaffolding construction.

The company had also failed to "properly" induct sub-contractors and failed to "plan, manage and monitor" the work.

"The defects they left behind were obvious to anyone who had inspected the scaffold..."

The Hayes now have 18 months to pay the total of £4,866 fines and £15,000 court court costs.

Mr Stein told how glazing subcontractor Mr Mackmin fell over two metres from the first floor of the scaffolding after stepping on a piece of plywood, being used as a bridge over a half metre gap.

Mr Mackmin suffered serious leg injuries needing extensive surgery in hospitals in Kent and London where he was kept for two weeks.

The prosecutor said the scaffolding had a lack of edging boards and guard rails around both the outer and inner perimeters.

The judge, Recorder Ed Burge QC told them: "I accept you were not responsible for the design and the building of the scaffold and you had used the services of a professional scaffolder.

Maidstone Crown Court
Maidstone Crown Court

"I accept that this business significantly let you down by the quality of their work."

"However, the defects they left behind were obvious to anyone who had inspected the scaffold.

"It was your responsibility to ensure the defects were identified and remedied before allowing anyone to use it. These defects existed for at least three weeks before the accident."

Under Health and Safety rules the firm was required to carry out a weekly inspection of the scaffolding and the faults which could lead to death if a person had fallen onto concrete.

The case had taken many years to get to court after a third member of the family had been charged for breaching Health And Safety rules - but this was dropped prior to coming to trial.

Martin Hayes was fined £2,066 and he now faces a 40 day jail sentence if he fails to pay.

Tim Hayes was fined £2,800 and the judge said he would serve 50 days if he fails to pay.

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