Construction firms fined after worker killed in fall from height
Oliver Connell and Son Ltd and Rydon Construction Ltd have been fined after a worker fell to his death when a temporary platform collapsed.
Mr Vasile Nichitut was working on the fifth floor of a construction site at the Green Man Lane Estate at the time of the incident on 24 July 2015, Southwark Crown Court. He stepped out onto a temporary platform covering a vertical shaft, which collapsed beneath him. He fell approximately 14m and died as a result of his injuries.
The HSE’s investigation discovered 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 Zanrose House, Horsenden Lane South, 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 £4834.08.
Rydon Construction Ltd, of Rydon House, Station Road, Forest Row, pleaded guilty 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.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector Owen Rowley said: “The consequences of temporary works failing can be dire. All contractors involved must ensure that an effective system for managing the temporary works on site is established and adhered to. Crucially, all temporary works require a design to ensure that they are suitable for purpose.
“In this case the failure to manage the risks associated with temporary works and work at height led to the entirely preventable death of Mr Nichitut.”
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Barbour download: Guide to working at height
Work at any height can cause injury; a fall from a height of just one or two steps can cause serious injury.
The Regulations were amended in 2007 to extend their application to those who work at height providing instruction or leadership to one or more people engaged in caving or climbing by way of sport, recreation, team building or similar activities in Great Britain.
Download your free guide from Barbour to understand: Duties of persons in control of work at height; Duties of persons undertaking work at height; General controls when working at height; Method statement for work at height; Selection of a means of access; Working platforms; Guardrails and toeboards; Ladders Mobile work platforms; Suspended access equipment; Personal suspension equipment and, Inspection of fall arrest equipment.