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£1m in fines issued following death of worker

30 November 2016

Southwark Crown Court has issued £1m in fines following the death of a carpenter and serious injuries sustained by two of his colleagues.

This was the result of an incident that occurred on 29 October 2012 when a temporary wooden platform above a stairwell opening collapsed.

Falling around 16m, the two workers landed on a partly-constructed stairwell, resulting in the fatal injuries sustained by the carpenter.

His colleague, a steel-fixer, was seriously injured and took nearly three years to recover sufficiently to return to work.

Serious injuries were also sustained by an engineer's assistant, who was working in the stairwell and hit by falling debris.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the platform was neither built to an agreed safe design or met the build quality checked by those in control of the site.

A number of similar platforms had been used throughout the construction site, using timber joists supported by "unsuitable" joist hangers with plywood fixed on top, the court was told.

Principal contractor St James Group, of Portsmouth Road, Cobham, Surrey, pleaded guilty to Regulation 22 (1)(a), Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £600,000 with costs of nearly £15,000.

The contractor responsible for the platform construction, Mitchellson Formwork and Civil Engineering, of Horton Trading Estate, Horton, Slough, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £400,000 with costs of just under £15,000.

RGF Construction, of Howard Road, Seer Green, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, the site agent assisting in managing the work, was found guilty at an earlier hearing of breaching Regulations 13(2) and 28(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and received a fine of £20,000.


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