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CONCRETE SLAB FATALITY AT HEATHROW

Major contractor and specialist fined over Heathrow T5 tragedy

Laing O’Rourke Infrastructure Limited and SGB Services Ltd have been ordered to pay a combined total £210k in fines and prosecution costs after one man died and another suffered life-changing injuries at the Heathrow Terminal 5 project in 2005.

The court heard that both two men were involved in constructing a multi-storey car park when a concrete slab collapsed and they fell 17m. The incident occurred despite an earlier recall of defective equipment.

Threaded Shoring Adaptors (TSAs) used to secure parts of the temporary works suffered catastrophic failure. Two of the TSAs were part of a sub-standard batch manufactured for SGB Services Ltd two years previously.

SGB Services Ltd failed to ensure that the TSAs were able to carry maximum loads. The company resupplied the same sub-standard TSAs to construction sites in 2005, despite having implemented a recall programme.

Laing O’Rourke Infrastructure Ltd did not have systems to inspect the quality and condition of the TSAs before they were used in safety-critical applications, and had failed to remove sub-standard TSAs from use when warned.

HSE Inspector Karen Morris said:“It is vital that safety-critical components are inspected before use to ensure that defective equipment is not used. It is also crucial that recall programmes are carried out effectively and thoroughly, so that defective components can not under any circumstances be brought back into circulation”.

statement by SGB Services Ltd explains how the defective TSA’s came to be supplied including the comment that: “SGB would like to make it clear that it has taken measures following this incident to prevent a similar situation happening again. This includes that SGB now uses a different subcontractor to manufacture TSAs and has tightened its systems for identifying any sub-standard product before it is supplied.”

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