A FIRM that put up unsafe scaffolding in a busy Oxford street has been fined £10,000.

Darren Baker Scaffolding Limited has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation into scaffolding put up outside Debenhams in George Street and Magdalen Street in 2012.

And at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Monday the Hertfordshire company pleaded guilty to one breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act and four breaches of the Work at Height Regulations Act.

The HSE said failings included metal fittings being thrown from a lorry over the heads of passers-by, scaffold poles being lifted above shoppers, and pedestrians being forced out into the road.

The HSE also said as a result of the failings there was a strong risk that the scaffold could have collapsed.

Darren Baker Scaffolding Limited, of Turners Hill, Cheshunt, Herts, was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay a further £706 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Peter Snelgrove said: “All scaffolds should be erected in a safe manner, but the risks are magnified when you are working in a busy city centre location with lots of traffic and pedestrians, as was the case here.

“Little thought was given to shoppers as fittings and poles were tossed or passed over their heads.”