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£3.8m fines issued following employee's death

20 October 2017

Two Laing O'Rourke companies have been fined a total of £3.8m following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive after an employee died at its Explore Manufacturing subsidiary.

Nottingham Crown Court was told that the worker had been using a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP), according to The Construction Index.

He had been removing lifting attachments from the top of an 11-tonne concrete panel stored on a transport pallet, which fell and struck the MEWP.

The man was thrown from the MEWP basket and the panel also struck others, causing them to fall with one of these hitting the victim.

Responsibility for the maintenance of the panels was shared between Explore Manufacturing and supplier and fellow Laing O'Rourke subsidiary Select Plant Hire, the court was told.

Results from the HSE investigation showed the frame used to secure the panel was not correctly attached to the panel, due to a locking pin not being correctly replaced after the frame had been previously positioned, with no system of pre-use checks in place.

Defects were also found in the pallets, according to The Construction Index, including missing support bearers and stabilising legs.

The investigation also found that the the large concrete panels should have been secured in storage racks and additionally revealed further concerns over the systems for storage of concrete panels on site.

Pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc, Act 1974, Explore Manufacturing was fined £2m with costs of nearly £14,000.

Select Plant Hire also pleaded guilty, for breaching Section 3 of the same act, receiving a fine of £1.8m with the same costs involved.

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