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WORKMAN DROWNED IN EXCAVATION

Contractor fined after death on domestic extension project

Chris Byrne, of Brent, London has been fined £750 and ordered to pay costs of £750 after a labourer drowned while building an extension at a domestic property in Wembley, in 2006.

The 21 year old labourer worked for Mr Byrne, who was contracted to build an extension to the property.

He had limited knowledge of English and Mr Byrne then left him alone on the site where a water filled excavation was unguarded. He was found head first in the pit with water up to his waist and pronounced dead at the scene.

HSE Inspector, Monica Babb, said:“The labourer had little experience and was left alone with a excavation pit that wasn’t properly guarded. His death was clearly avoidable as the risks of excavations and falling from height is well known. Those running construction sites, whether they are domestic or commercial jobs, have a duty of care to supervise vulnerable workers on their sites.”

Comment: It must be assumed that the low fine reflects the means of the defendant and not the seriousness of the offence.

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