Construction firms fined after worker suffers fatal fall

News Article

Two construction firms, Oliver Connell and Son Ltd and Rydon Construction Ltd have been fined after a worker fell to his death when a temporary platform collapsed.

Southwark Crown Court heard how, on 24 July 2015, Mr Vasile Nichitut was working on the fifth floor of the construction site at the Green Man Lane Estate, when he walked onto a temporary platform covering a vertical shaft, which collapsed beneath him. He fell approximately 14 metres suffering fatal injuries in the process.

An investigation conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Oliver Connell and Son Ltd had failed to ensure that work at height was properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe and practicable manner. Specifically, there was no temporary works design for the platform and the company’s system for installing and inspecting it was inadequate.

Rydon Construction Ltd failed to plan, manage and monitor the work involving the temporary platform to ensure that, construction work is carried out without risks to health or safety. They failed to identify the lack of design drawings and carry out suitable checks on the platform.

Oliver Connell and Son Ltd, of Greenford, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and have been fined £360,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,834.08.

Rydon Construction Ltd, of Forest Row, also pleaded guilty, this time to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, and have been fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of £40,740.88.

Jeremy Sirrell a partner at Palmers and health and safety expert said: “This horrible accident could have been avoided had the right precautions and safety measures been taken before the work was carried out. Instead a man has lost his life due to negligence.

“This incident highlights the importance of carrying out the required health and safety measures before starting work.”

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