A Surrey scaffolding contractor has been fined after the floor of a marquee collapsed just as 150 guests sat down to enjoy a wedding breakfast. West Berkshire Magistrates’ Court heard that the false floor dropped four feet at the wedding in Newbury sending terrified guests crashing to the floor.
Catering staff at West Woodhay House were about to serve the first course of the wedding breakfast to guests when the scaffolding beneath the marquee floor collapsed. Scaffold poles also fell into the marquee, narrowly missing guests.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Joanne Woodcock said: “The scene after the incident was shocking, with broken glass and crockery everywhere. The collapse must have been terrifying for the bride, groom and their guests.
“A couple’s wedding day was ruined and guests unwittingly risked being seriously injured, simply because Block Scaffolding Limited overlooked basic health and safety. This prosecution should serve as a warning that HSE will take action against anyone failing to build safe scaffolding.”
Block Scaffolding Limited of Myrtle Drive, Blackwater, Camberley, Surrey, pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,370. The firm had been contracted by the bridal couple to erect scaffolding to counteract the slope of the lawn and keep the marquee floor level