Scaffolding boss jailed for worker death

The owner of a Kent scaffolding business has been jailed for 15 months after a worker he employed fell 14 metres to his death at a site in North West London.

The Eltham-based owner, Mark Anthony Hayes, has been jailed for 15 months for safety failings.

The sentence comes as the latest conviction out of three which Mark Hayes, 53, has received for offences arising from the fatality of scaffolder Grant Dunmall in 2012.

Last year Mr Hayes was fined twice for offences relating to the non-disclosure of essential documents to support a HSE investigation.


Once he had supplied the missing paperwork, HSE found that Mr Hayes could have done more to prevent the fall.

Grant Dunmall, 25, from Hither Green, was employed by Mr Hayes when he fell from the tower scaffold he was working on and sustained fatal injuries.

Mr Dunmall was not provided with edge protection or a fall arrest harness to prevent or mitigate a fall.

Mr Hayes was found guilty of breaching the Working at Height Regulations 2005 at the Notting Hill site. He was sent to prison for 15 months.

Added to this, combined fines of £12,000 and costs of £5,601 were imposed on Mr Hayes after he breached the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Employer’s Liability Act 1969, last year.

Jack Wilby, HSE Inspector said after the sentencing:

“The family and friends of Grant Dunmall have suffered enough heartache through the loss of their loved one without the additional stress of the convoluted legal process we have had to go through to secure justice.

“Our investigation into his tragic death was delayed for several months because of Mark Hayes’ total lack of co-operation in supporting our work. That had a knock-on impact in delaying the Coroner’s inquest, and we had no option but to prosecute before he eventually provided the documentation we needed.

“His wilful obstruction only served to accentuate the fact that his systems and procedures for safely managing work at height were sorely lacking, and fell short of the standards expected from a competent scaffolder.

“The bottom line here is that Mr Dunmall was killed in a preventable fall that could have been avoided.”

Grant’s family added:

“The loss of Grant was a devastating shock to us and also his friends.

“There are rules and regulations in place for very good reasons and the most important of those is to save unnecessary loss of life. If all employers and companies abide by these rules then more families could be spared the pain and heartache that we have had to experience.

“HSE pursued this investigation despite the lack of co-operation by Mark Hayes and we are pleased justice has been done.”
The sentence of Mr Hayes will run alongside the unrelated life imprisonment imposed on Mark Anthony Hayes for the murder of his brother.