Worker left paralysed in £5m luxury house refurb fall

Grant Prior 12 months ago
Share

Two contractors have been fined more than half a million pounds after a site worker lost the use of his legs following a fall in London.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 5 November 2015, Marcel Păduraru, a Romanian construction worker, fell onto and then through a fragile plastic skylight into a basement over three metres below.

He suffered a severed spine and will not regain the use of his legs. He was 30 years old at the time of the incident.

Grangewood Builders Limited had been appointed as the principal contractor to carry out a £5,000,000 refurbishment at a large house near Buckingham Palace on Chapel Road, London.

Grangewood had engaged Trenchco Limited of to carry out specialised demolition work at the site.

An HSE investigation  found that, despite work being carried out directly by the site skylight, neither company checked if it was fragile or took action to stop people falling through it.

Neither company ensured the work was adequately planned and, as a result, safe systems of work were not identified and implemented.

Workers had been put at risk from construction activities at the site ranging from demolishing a roof without edge protection to manually handling wood beams weighing an estimated 200kg.

The investigation also found that the Trenchco supervisor directly controlling the work had no formal training relating to supervision and some of the workers, including the Romanian victim, had to rely on unofficial interpreters to pass on instructions and tell them what the health and safety records contained.

Grangewood Builders Limited of Canvey Island, Essex pleaded guilty to breaching CDM Regulations and was fined £270,000 and ordered to pay £7,025.98 in costs.

Trenchco Limited of Harrow Weald, Middlesex also pleaded guilty to breaching CDM Regulations and was fined £270,000 and ordered to pay £7,025.98 in costs.

HSE inspector Andrew Verrall-Withers commented after the hearing: “The risks relating to fragile skylights being fallen through and the simple solutions to avoid this are well known.

“The failings at the site were not limited to the unprotected plastic skylight. Other activities such as the demolishing of a roof without edge protection could also have resulted in a serious incident.

“While these companies may have wanted health and safety compliance, their failure to pay enough attention to their actual performance at the site resulted in a tragedy occurring. No one should go to work and return unable to walk again”.

Latest news

More contractors suspended from Prompt Payment Code

Galliford Try, Ferrovial and Alun Griffiths among firms not paying on time
2 hours ago

Lendlease names new London construction chief

Claire Pettett has over 11 years experience at Lendlease mostly on the finance side
3 hours ago

Construction restructure costs Galliford Try £10m

Average group net debt rises to £187m after year of writedowns
7 hours ago

Six climate activists arrested at concrete plant

Police chief warns construction companies they will be targeted during week of action
8 hours ago

Civils and concrete specialist OHOB delivers £27m profit

O’Halloran & O’Brien builds revenue to £300m after expanding from south east base into the Midlands
8 hours ago

Worker killed on Asda extension site

Victim "hit by digger bucket" in site tragedy
17 hours ago

Leeds Merrion Centre 17 storey office block approved

New office block in shopping centre will cost over £50m to build
7 hours ago

£17m Blackpool hotel project out to bid

Muse invited bids for Talbot Gateway scheme Holiday Inn
9 hours ago

Countryside wins £400m London Camden Lock estate rebuilds

Work could start on 700-home estate rebuild late next year
1 day ago

Contractor fined for ignoring site welfare order

Manchester firm failed to provide decent facilities for workers
9 hours ago

Murphy suffers £5.8m loss

Revenue up 4.4% to £781m driven by transport and power projects
1 day ago

London Mayor uproots Tulip Tower plan

Sadiq Khan blocks 305m skyscraper plan despite city planners' approval
2 days ago

Third Van Elle board director exits

John Foster, group commercial director, departs six months after joining piling specialist
1 day ago

Hunt starts for partner to deliver £1.5bn Wales schools plan

Welsh Government is looking for partner for new public private schools delivery model
1 day ago

HS2 unveils plans for “people mover” on new viaduct

2.3km route will transport people to Birmingham Airport
1 day ago

Manager merry-go-round causing mayhem for contractors

Construction bosses walk-in to new jobs no matter how poor their track record is
1 day ago

Contractor hunt starts for new £1.7bn Stonehenge route

Highways England hopes to attract bids from "some of the world’s best construction companies"
2 days ago

29 arrests in immigration raid on BAM King’s Cross site

Illegal Albanian, Indian and Lithuanian workers detained during swoop on flagship London job
2 days ago

Call to delay VAT changes as chaos looms for contractors

Industry leaders demand six month delay to October deadline as contractors unaware of tax changes
3 days ago

Hull contractor C Spencer back in profit

Specialist records £1.8m profit after revenue cut to £54m in year of consolidation
2 days ago

ISG wins £23m Cardiff Uni science building

Six-storey maths and computer block will be built on the Cathays campus
2 days ago

Local civils firm lands £17m London Airport job

East London civils contractor Kilnbridge wins biggest contract this year
5 days ago

Tolent starts £34m Leeds rental flats job

12-storey block is being built for Grainger as part of the Holbeck Urban Village
2 days ago

Boost your online presence – join the Enquirer Directory

Site for suppliers and buyers showcases products, services and latest stories
1 year ago

Foundations specialist Aspin goes into administration

All staff sent home as ground engineering firm goes under
6 days ago

HPL cladding to be stripped from Oxford tower block

Housing associations and councils are now planning to remove HPL cladding following new Government guidance
5 days ago

HS2 forced to rebid £435m Curzon Street station

Poor interest from contractors forces risk transfer rethink
6 days ago

Mott MacDonald names new UK and Europe chief

Cathy Travers will be in charge of 7,500 staff generating £824m revenue
5 days ago

Galliford Try Infrastructure chief exits

Nick Salt leaves as construction chief Bill Hocking takes over infrastructure
5 days ago

Interserve appoints Alan Lovell as new chairman

Industry veteran pledges to help "continue delivering Interserve’s transformation"
5 days ago

Contractor services