Contractor and architect hit with £195k death fine

Grant Prior 14 years ago
Share

An architect’s practice and a construction company involved in a Somerset development have been fined a total of £195,000 following a fatality on the site.

Express Park Construction Company Limited (EPCC), of Harley Street, London, pleaded guilty to failing to safely manage subcontractors working for it.

The architects involved, Oxford Architects Partnership, of Bagley Croft, Hinksey Hill, Oxford, pleaded guilty to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations which require designers to take safety considerations into account.

EPCC was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay costs of £68,000 and Oxford Architects Partnership was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £60,000 at Bristol Crown Court.

The court heard that on 26 January 2005 David Cairns (64) was working for EPCC sub-contractors H&F Air Conditioning Limited, at the newly-built ‘Exchange’ building at Express Park in Bridgwater, Somerset.

Cairns was working on the air conditioning plant, which was built on a platform accessed via a ladder at the edge of a flat roof. The roof only had a low parapet, which was not high enough to prevent him falling nine metres to the ground.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Sue Adsett, said: “This is a tragic case where both the failings of the construction firm and the architects led to Mr Cairns’ death.

“While it is rare for designers to be charged with breaching health and safety legislation, they must be aware they can be held responsible where bad design is an important contributory factor to a work-place fatality.

“Designers must ensure that plant and equipment can be accessed safely, and that safety harnesses are only used as a last resort.

“HSE will not hesitate to take enforcement action against any company or individual who fails to carry out their health and safety duties, especially when that failure results in a tragedy, as in this case.”

Mr. Cairn’s family, who were at court, said: “The loss of David has deeply affected us all and he will be greatly missed.

“Our hope is that lessons are learnt within the construction industry so that other similar incidents are prevented. Safety should be paramount during all stages of the building process so that another family doesn’t have to suffer the loss that we have.”

Latest news

Early bond release key to averting industry surety crisis

Contractors must put pressure on clients to release bonds promptly
5 hours ago

Over 1000 building safety cladding retrofits completed

25% of safety retrofits finished seven years after Grenfell disaster
5 hours ago

Steel import delays make Rangers miss kick-off

Construction work at Ibrox will not be finished by start of next season
20 hours ago

Lidl looking for new contractors for store building plans

Sign up for events in Newcastle, Glasgow, Birmingham and Southampton
5 hours ago

Utility firm GTC revs up for ground source heat pump era

Contractor and heat pump maker strikes ground-breaking deal
5 hours ago

Amey switches kit supplier to Speedy from HSS

New plant and equipment hire deal worth £25m a year
1 day ago

Clients under spotlight after bond bombshell

Contractors call for action to avoid project delays
1 day ago

M&E specialist Lorne Stewart falls into the red

Parent group suffers £2.8m loss in face of cost inflation and insolvencies
1 day ago

Four men rushed to hospital after site accident

Eye-witnesses report a wall was knocked over on Edinburgh site
2 days ago

World’s tallest scissor lift set for UK sites

Hire Safe Solutions partners with Dingli to supply lift with working height of 37 metres
1 day ago

Barhale wins £36m East London sewer remediation

Northern Outfall Sewer in West Ham runs above railway lines in the city
1 day ago

Weston Homes thumbs-up for £220m Essex homes scheme

Colchester 600-home Viridis scheme gains outline consent
1 day ago

Balfour seals £192m deal for trio of Scottish substations

Work to start this summer to enhance electrical transmission in Argyll
2 days ago

Construction bond bombshell as major player quits market

QBE currently provides cover for 20 of the industry's 30 biggest contractors
2 days ago

United Utilities names another 18 winners for £2.7bn water spend

Water giant cuts out large management contractors in latest spending round
3 days ago

Green light for £130m Dundee Eden project

Former gasholder site to be transformed into green house
2 days ago

Four tower scheme in Glasgow gets green light

Go-ahead for major mixed-use scheme at Central Quay
2 days ago

‘Green collar’ construction workers earning £134,000

Cost consultant T&T says insulation and heat pump trades earning £70 an hour in London
2 days ago

£65m Trafford Waters resi blocks approved

X1 Developments plans over 200 homes in 13- and 8-storey blocks
2 days ago

Over 100 firms win £1.5bn ICN housing framework

Great Places Housing Group names key partners for new homes programme
3 days ago

Steelwork firm went down owing £4.5m to suppliers

Subcontractors left holding unpaid invoices from SH Structures
3 days ago

Scottish civils firm to buy stake in piling specialist

Advance Construction in talks for 25% stake in Northern Piling Ltd
3 days ago

RSK secures £500m for fresh acquisitions spree

Acquisitive group aims to buy another 200 businesses by 2030
4 days ago

Beal Homes gets green light for £105m Humber scheme

Work to start on more than 500 homes in North East Lincolnshire
3 days ago

RED wins £20m East London office refurb

Grade II listed Victorian building to be upgraded to Cat A offices
3 days ago

Employee-owned Neilcott staff share £250,000 payout

Employee-owned building contractor sales jump 38% to £139m
4 days ago

Geoffrey Osborne supply chain hit for £26m

More than 500 suppliers and subcontractors left holding unpaid bills
1 week ago

Race for £800m South West Wales framework

Up to 16 firms face fight to renew spots on regional contractors framework
5 days ago

SME contractors agree 4% pay rise for site workers

Workers will also get an extra day of holiday
7 days ago

South East expansion paying off for Meldrum Group

Turnover up to £55m as North East based contractor expands national coverage
4 days ago

Contractor services