A scaffolder who verbally abused an HSE inspector has been handed a suspended prison sentence and ordered to wear an electronic monitoring tag. He was erecting scaffold on the front of a house for installation of solar roof panels when the inspector pulled him up for working unsafely. She was on her way to work at the time and noticed that he wasn’t wearing a harness despite the absence of edge protection. When she advised him that he should be working in accordance with NASC guidance SG4:15 he responded by using offensive language before leaving the site and scaffolding incomplete.
Photographic evidence confirmed that the solar panel fitters had been working on the incomplete scaffold.
The scaffolder pleaded guilty in court to breaching 6(3) and 8(a) of the Work at Height Regulations and was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months and ordered to wear an electronic tag for six months. His behavior towards the inspector was considered by the court to be an aggravating factor.