Cheddleton bricklayer Darren Mahoney wins payout after scaffolding fall
A BRICKLAYER suffered a collapsed lung after falling off unsafe scaffolding and landing on a breeze block.
Darren Mahoney was signed off work for three weeks after the accident, which also left him with scratches to his head and bruising to his chest.
The 39-year-old was working on a plot at a new housing estate when the scaffold board he was standing on gave way, causing him to fall almost two metres to the ground.
Now Mr Mahoney has been awarded £2,917 in damages after Judge Peter Main ruled developer Bellway Homes was liable for his injuries.
Fixed fee sales package for any residential property, just £325 +vat. Includes listing on all major portals e.g. Rightmove & Zoopla, floorplans, photos, for sale board, etc. Call for more details.
Terms: All prices subject to VAT. Terms and Conditions apply. E&OE.
Contact: 01782 900100
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Stoke-on-Trent County Court heard the plot Mr Mahoney was working on at the site in Manchester had been damaged by vandals, which left the scaffolding unsupported and not safe to work on.
But Mr Mahoney, of Rennie Crescent, Cheddleton, was not told about the danger when he started work on the morning of April 15, 2008.
Bellway Homes argued it could not be liable for the accident, because Mr Mahoney had been given clear instructions by a site manager not to go on the scaffolding.
They said he chose to ignore the instructions, meaning the accident was of his own making.
But in finding the company had breached a common law duty of care, Judge Main said: "The claimant is right and credible and accurate in what he says.
"There was a failure by the defendant to provide him with a safe place of work. The scaffolding was not safe and it was clearly anticipated he might go on it at some point.
"He was not given any warnings and there was not adequate supervision.
"It was left very much in the air for the bricklayers to get on with the job how they saw best.
"When the site manager came onto the site around 15 minutes prior to the accident, he did not remonstrate with the staff when they were on the scaffolding, therefore I must find a breach of common duty of care. This was a wholly avoidable accident."
However, Judge Main found Mr Mahoney, who had been a bricklayer since 1998, one third responsible for the accident, adding: "He was an experienced man and had a duty to himself to keep himself safe.
"He could see one side of the scaffolding was not supported and I find he is partly to blame in those circumstances, but this should not undermine the fact there was a failure by the defendant to provide a safe place to work."
Mr Mahoney had been handed his notice of redundancy less than half an hour before the accident and was made redundant the following month.
The company's health and safety manager completed a report into the incident, however, it was labelled 'one-sided' by the judge.
Bellway Homes declined to comment.