Amec fined £300,000 after death of steel erector

Grant Prior 7 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

Laing O’Rourke director killed in car crash on way to work

Tributes to Caroline Blackman who died early on Wednesday morning en route to Hinkley
2 days ago

Kier cutting jobs on Highways England contract

More than 100 workers facing redundancy across Midlands Area 9
2 days ago

Buckingham confirmed for £120m Swansea arena

Six months of pre-construction work to now get underway
2 days ago

Two North West smart motorway projects delayed

Costain and Galliford Try jobs put back by more than a year
2 days ago

Lendlease wins £8bn Thamesmead development

Morgan Sindall beaten in race for 11,500 home site
2 days ago

Government pledges £80m for Dawlish sea wall project

South Devon railway sea wall will be rebuilt and increased in height by 2.5m
2 days ago

30 jobs lost as Yorkshire precast firm collapses

Rippon-based Ebor Concretes placed in administration
2 days ago

Go-ahead for 200-home Cardiff build-to-rent scheme

Work to start on central Cardiff scheme this summer
3 days ago

Balfour renews £220m London Tube track upkeep

Four-year term will start in April with option to extend by six years
3 days ago

Boost your online presence – join the Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers showcases products, services and latest stories
10 months ago

Bouygues paid £21m not to build Garden Bridge

Transport for London documents detail £53.5m wasted on doomed crossing
4 days ago

Government signs off £250m for major housing projects

Deal to release £157m for housing infrastructure in Cumbria and Devon
3 days ago

Beetham Tower owner faces £4m reclad bill

Owner will have to foot remedial facade works bill in wake of Carillion collapse
3 days ago

WYG profit warning sees share price crash 40%

Consultant back in talks with lenders over breaching banking covenants
4 days ago

United Living hires former Wates business director

Michael Holling takes role as northern and Midlands operations director after 24 years at Wates
3 days ago

Union demands death benefits for all construction workers

Unite says lack of employer-paid cover should be as unacceptable as not wearing a hard hat on site
4 days ago

Scaffold collapse on school misses kids by metres

Court hears how untied scaffold fell into Welsh school
4 days ago

Galliford Try construction hit by more Aberdeen bypass losses

Another £26m hit on bypass plunges construction into red in first half
4 days ago

Council terminates Lakehouse school contract

Willmott Dixon takes over site hit by "performance and project delays"
4 days ago

Government infrastructure pipeline needs reality check

Call for Treasury to drop project 'wishlist' for certain Pledged Projects List
4 days ago

Council seeks partner for Birmingham Ladywood Estate

Major regeneration plans at Ladywood and Perry Bar to boost city's housing stock
4 days ago

Willmott Dixon wins £21m Wakefield swimming pool

Work to start next month on Pontefract Park leisure centre
4 days ago

Weston and Tesco plan to turn store site into 1,400 homes

Application set to go in for major mixed-use development in east London
4 days ago

Network Rail unveils major operational shake-up

Devolved operating model moves from eight to 13 routes
5 days ago

Subcontractors wanted across Nottingham

Big name contractors and clients looking to boost supply chains: Register now for Meet the Buyer event
4 days ago

Bidding starts for £18m Helensburgh leisure centre

Argyll and Bute Council hopes to start work on seafront leisure centre and swimming pool this year
5 days ago

Interserve ‘fit for growth’ director exits

Dougie Sutherland merged UK and International construction businesses
5 days ago

Rail minister says HS2 doubts are “complete nonsense”

Government says its commitment to construction of the full route is "undiminished"
5 days ago

Go-ahead for Manchester Airport beauty group hub

Three contractors chase £31m deal for The Hut Group studio
6 days ago

Drink driver careers through roadworks

Jailed driver was three times over the limit when he crashed into a construction vehicle
5 days ago

Contractor services