Aug 22 2013 by Rebecca Koncienzcy, Skelmersdale Advertiser
A SCAFFOLDING company was found guilty of breaching health and safety laws after a pensioner fell 20 feet from “cobbled together” scaffolding and died.
Joiner Peter Winchurch, 68, suffered serious head injuries at a site in Skelmersdale.
The company which provided the workers, equipment and materials – Transition Rehabilitation Units (TRU) Ltd of Haydock – denied two charges of putting employees and non-employees at risk but was found guilty after a trial.
Mr Winchurch had been helping out on a renovation project at a house on Bromilow Road in the town when the tragedy happened in 2009.
Witnesses said they saw a plank fall past the bathroom window followed by Mr Winchurch.
James McKeon, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court: “The prosecution say the scaffolding was dangerous and its condition put people using it at risk of an accident, such as happened to Mr Winchurch.
“The investigation revealed that the scaffolding towers were not put up in accordance with the manufacturers’ designs and the working platforms were not properly decked, so there was a risk of falling from them. The inspector found the scaffolding had been cobbled together and was dangerous.”
But William Reynolds, the director of TRU Ltd, said the building project was being carried out by relatives of his and was nothing to do with TRU, a company which provides rehabilitation for people with brain injuries. He said he only provided them as an interest free loan from his company accounts and had no idea that the builders were on the payroll of his company. He said if they were, they would have been the subject of training and the project would have been risk assessed properly.
The jury took just over three hours to find TRU Ltd guilty on both counts. The company will be sentenced on November 15.