An investigation into a death of a worker in 2007 held by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), has revealed significant health and safety failings.
Southwark Crown Court fined two associate construction companies. The first firm, for breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, was fined £90,000. The second firm was found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and fined £125,000.
Costs of £167, 857 were awarded to HSE.
The HSE told the court that the employee was working as an electrician on a demolition site in the Elephant and Castle area of London.
The worker was in close proximity to two remote controlled construction machines. As the machines broke through a concrete beam, joists were dislodged and fell and struck the electrician. He died of the injuries.
The HSE reported that both companies had failed to adequately plan and instigate safe systems of work. They had failed to investigate the structure of the building before demolition. Had this been done, and exclusion zones adhered to, the fatality could have been prevented.
After the case was heard, HSE Inspector Dominic Elliss said:
“I hope this case sparks renewed focus by all in the construction industry on the importance of effective planning, constant review and robust supervision throughout demolition works.
“There are clear responsibilities laid down in law for all dutyholders undertaking construction works. It is vital that they all play their role effectively to manage risk and prevent entirely avoidable loss of life at work.”