Preston man avoids jail after balancing 90ft high on scaffold tubes

David Mullholland failed in his duty to protect his own safety while at work
David Mullholland failed in his duty to protect his own safety while at work
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This is the moment a builder from Walton le Dale was snapped balancing 90ft high on metal scaffold tubes in the rain.

David Mullholland, 25, of Victoria Road, Walton le Dale, had been working on the roof of a multi-storey hotel in Central Manchester on 21 January 2015 when he was spotted by horrified office workers a court heard last Monday (19 December).

Manchester Magistrates Court heard that a member of the public had contacted Health and Safety Executive claiming that a man had been seen balancing on scaffold tubes in the rain while working on the roof of the multi-storey hotel. HSE Inspectors attended and found David Mulholland working on the roof.

An investigation found it was David Mulholland in the photograph provided to HSE. It also found that he had climbed up the scaffold to hammer the steel beams into place and had not used the tower scaffold that had been made available for him.

Mullholland admitted working unsafely at height and pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

He was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, fined £1,400.00 and ordered to pay costs of £2,939.18.

HSE inspector Matt Greenly said after the case:

“This case dealt with a serious work at height risk which could have led to a fatal incident. David Mullholland failed in his duty to protect his own safety while at work and also placed others at risk had he dropped any tool from the position he was seen in some 27 metres above street level. During HSE’s investigation he said that he did not appreciate how high he was.

“Never before in my career as an HSE Inspector have I seen such a staggering disregard for personal safety. It is a matter of pure luck that no-one was injured or killed.

“My thanks go to the member of the public who reported their concern to us as they have been instrumental in saving the life of Mr Mulholland and arguably anyone below him at that time.”