Firms fined £130,000 after heavy beam crushes worker

Aaron Morby 12 years ago

TWO companies have been fined a total of £130,000 after a 43-year-old demolition worker was killed by a massive concrete beam in Thurrock.

Gary Drinkald was working on a night demolition job to tear down a road bridge on the A1306, near Lakeside Shopping Centre, on April 6 2006 when he was crushed.

A 31t concrete beam had been removed from the bridge and placed on the back of a low loader lorry, but chains securing it were removed from the crane before it had been secured to the low loader.

The beam then fell and crushed Drinkald, breaking 17 ribs and causing internal bleeding, which led to his death.

The Health and Safety Executive successfully prosecuted Chelmsford demolition contractor Micor, which employed Drinkald, and Crane and Transport Services from Kent, which was subcontracted to supervise the lifting procedure.

After the hearing at Basildon Crown Court, HSE Inspector Nicola Surrey said: “A family, including four children have had their lives devastated by this tragic incident.

“With adequate planning and supervision of how the concrete beam should have been secured on the low loader lorry, this outcome could have been avoided.

“This case is a warning to other employers that there are serious consequences for not protecting their workforce.”

Micor pleaded guilty to breaching two sections of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at an earlier hearing at Southend Crown Court in May. They were fined £100,000 at Basildon Crown Court and ordered to pay costs of £20,000.

Crane and Transport Services, of Hartley, pleaded guilty to breaching a section of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.

They were fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.

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