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Six months imprisonment for builder after timber falls from hoist onto 3 year old

A self-employed builder has been given a suspended jail sentence after a three-year-old girl suffered severe head injuries when a length of timber fell on her whilst being hoisted up the outside of a scaffold.

Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard how, the girl, and her mother, who was pushing her daughter in a buggy, were walking along Preston Street in Brighton. As they passed scaffolding, erected on the pavement for refurbishment work to a flat above, the length of timber fell from approximately ten metres in height striking the girl on the head.

The three-year-old suffered life changing injuries. While she has made significant progress, it is not yet known whether she will make a full recovery.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the builder in control of the works was Grzegorz Glowacki, who had tied the length of timber to a rope for lifting up the outside of the scaffold using a pulley system. However, the knot used was not suitable, and the timber slipped out, falling to the ground, but there was no exclusion zone in place to prevent persons being underneath the load, in case of such a problem.

Mr. Glowacki of Rugby Road, Brighton, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8 (1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, plus 220 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to repay full costs of £5,727.92.