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Scaffolder faces 6 months in prison for breaching Health and Safety Regulations

  • Terrance Murray, 27, was erecting scaffolding at Sunlight House in Manchester
  • Experienced worker was photographed by a retired health and safety inspector
  • Now Murray faces up to six months in jail after admitting breaching regulations

A scaffolder could be jailed after he was photographed working at 60 feet wearing a harness that wasn't secured to anything.

Terrance Murray, 27, was erecting scaffolding at the side of a six storey building when he was unknowingly snapped by a retired health and safety inspector.

He now faces up to six months in prison after he admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.

His stunt happened as he was constructing scaffolding at the rear of the Grade II-listed Sunlight House in Manchester, on June 30 last year as part of work to renovate the windows.

The photo shows him looking directly into the offices of the Crown Prosecution Service, which occupies some of the building.

His apprentice can be seen working further down the scaffolding.

Murray, an experienced scaffolder, can be seen standing on planks without having first erected a rail to stop him toppling over the side, as required.

In the photograph, he is wearing a harness but it isn't connected to the scaffolding.

When he appeared at Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court yesterday, he admitted a single breach of health and safety law under his full name Terrance Tyson Murray.

Murray, of Blackburn, pleaded guilty to failing to take reasonable care for either himself or others who may have been affected by his acts and omissions while at work.

District Judge Mark Hadfield adjourned the case when Murray, who was not represented by a lawyer, admitted he hadn't realised he could be sent to prison for the offence.

When Judge Hadfield suggested he get himself a lawyer, Murray said: 'What if I can't afford it?'

The judge replied: 'That's a matter for you. If I were you, I'd get legal representation.'

The case was adjourned until February 20 to allow Murray to consider getting a lawyer.

After the hearing, HM inspector of health and safety Matt Greenly said: 'The potential for his actions was the death of a young man. This is a situation which could easily have been avoided. He had all the right equipment.  He chose for some unknown reason to take his life in his own hands that day.'

Alpha Training Safety Solutions provide Working at Height Training - ensuring you stay on the right side of the law.

Working at height remains one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries in the UK. Common incidents include falls from ladders and through fragile surfaces.

‘Working at height’ is defined as work in any place where, if there were no precautions in place, a person could fall a distance that could cause personal injury. Our training gives trainees the skills to take precautions to prevent falls, and to avoid additional risk.

The working at height regulations place the duty of preventing personal injury with the employer or those who control any work at height activity (such as facilities managers or building owners who contract others to work at height).

For further information, visit our website:  http://www.alphahealthandsafety.com/training/working-at-height/

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