Amec fined £300,000 after death of steel erector

Grant Prior 5 years ago
Share

Amec and a specialist steel subcontractor have been fined a total of £301,000 after a worker fell 22 metres to his death while building a new apartment block in Manchester.

Christopher Heaton, from St Helens, was working on the Leftbank riverside apartments on the Spinningfields development when he was dragged over the guardrail on a scaffolding platform after becoming entangled in a chain.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the 25-year-old died after falling seven storeys on April 29 2004.

Another worker, who does not want to be named, was also injured and the incident has had a long-term psychological impact on him.

The court was told Heaton had been using a chain from a scaffolding platform to adjust a steel beam three stories above him, when one of the supporting brackets gave way.

He was struck by a falling steel block, became entangled in the operating chain, and was dragged over the edge of the scaffolding.

An HSE investigation into the incident found that the wrong studs had been used to secure the chain, and that the work had not been properly planned or monitored.

Amec was found guilty of safety breaches and was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay £333,866 costs.

Shawton Engineering Ltd, of  Newton le Willows, Merseyside, pleaded guilty to safety breaches.

The company is now in administration and received a nominal fine of £1,000 with no costs.

Speaking after the hearing, Christopher Heaton’s father, Len, said: “The loss of our son has completely devastated our lives. Nobody can imagine the impact his death has had.

“Chris was a good lad, with a happy go lucky outlook. He loved his job and was looking forward to a career in engineering.

“I used to worry about him all the time, especially when he was out at night. Ironically, I didn’t worry too much when he was at work. I thought he was safe.

“After eight years, it is still hard to believe this has happened and, to try to put into words how it has affected us, is very difficult. I think we think about him more now than when he was alive.

“Chris would still be alive today if simple health and safety rules were adhered to, and hopefully lessons have been learned to stop this type of incident happening again.”

Neil Jamieson, HSE Principal Inspector for Construction, added: “It is horrifying that Christopher Heaton was dragged off a scaffolding platform more than 20 metres high, causing him to plummet to his death.

“This was a major construction site, and the work taking place there should have been properly planned and managed.

“If either Chris’s employer, Shawton Engineering, or the principal contractor on the site, Amec, had acted differently then his life could have been saved.”

Christopher Heaton was looking forward to a career in construction

Latest news

Hinkley chief buyer joins Murphy

Laing O'Rourke procurement head Ian Holcroft joins rival contractor
9 hours ago

Lovell poaches Quintain director for London MD role

Ben Giddens joins as London regional managing director
8 mins ago

Skanska schools director joins Wates

Martin Kramer joins Wates as Home Counties pre-construction director
13 hours ago

Clugston to start £13m Leeds College of Building job

Phase 2 of Hunslet Campus in Leeds gets underway
30 mins ago

Architect trio advance £200m Gateshead Quay plan

Plan for conference and exhibition centre to be submitted by the end of next year
13 hours ago

O’Rourke firms fined £3.8m after concrete factory death

Court hears how worker was crushed by 11 tonne concrete panel
17 hours ago

Lendlease profit rebounds despite Scottish problems

UK construction business returns to strong profit
16 hours ago

McAlpine to start HMRC office at Cardiff central square

Work to start on fourth major office build at £400m city centre regen scheme
17 hours ago

Prime Minister summons house builders to strategy meeting

Theresa May looks to boost construction levels
16 hours ago

Muse leads £75m Dartford town regen scheme

Work to start in spring 2019 on Westgate mixed-use scheme
1 day ago

BAM submits £32m Jedburgh campus plan

Work to start in spring on borders all-through school campus
17 hours ago

Trio picked for Midlands multi-storey parking plan

Bourne Parking, Blackwells and Dawnus in line for multi-storey park and ride programme
1 day ago

Multiplex staff let go as sites run down

Site office teams broken up as schemes nearing completion
2 days ago

Bouygues set for £300m Cavendish physics lab

Cambridge University awards first contract under new framework
2 days ago

Murphy to install 60km underground power cable

Contractor to smash UK record for horizontal drilling
2 days ago

McMullen lands £11m cladding package from O’Rourke

Specialist to start on site in April at Liverpool cancer hospital
2 days ago

Bellway delivers 11% rise in home completions

Bellway plans to open new division in the north as demand surges
2 days ago

Mace seeks to boost transport consultancy

Mace makes two senior appointments to drive airport and highways work
2 days ago

Lidl to build its largest UK warehouse in Peterborough

New £80m warehouse is discount giant's 6th to be announced this year
2 days ago

Concrete problems hit Hinkley Point tunnels

Material needs to be replaced after failing quality checks at nuclear plant
3 days ago

Interserve lenders call in advisers amid cash crunch fears

Interserve says work underway to give greater clarity on current trading and provisions
3 days ago

Balfour/Mott seals £115m area 10 road upkeep extension

Highways England opts to extend Area 10 assets support contract
3 days ago

Morgan Sindall nets £16m fisheries HQ

Existing Cefas buildings in Lowestoft will be refurbished before new office is built
3 days ago

Construction growth to stagnate next year

Construction faces recession if promised infrastructure spend delayed
3 days ago

M+W wins £25m Newton’s apple tree lab job

Work to start in December on National Physical Laboratory measuring lab
3 days ago

Seven winners on £200m Manchester roads deal

Four-year framework starts in January for highways work across the city
3 days ago

Sisk clinches £190m Great Ormond Street phase 4

Sisk beats Skanska to major clinical building project at London children's hospital
7 days ago

Carillion in talks to sell healthcare business

Contractor approached by a number of serious potential buyers
6 days ago

Network Rail secures £48bn for 2019 – 2024 programme

Funding shake-up with new gateway system to avoid overspends on major projects
7 days ago

Virtual reality backpack allows site walk throughs

Wearable computer takes VR to all parts of buildings under construction
6 days ago

Contractor services