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    MAJOR CONTRACTOR FINE FOLLOWS FALL FROM SLAB

    Falsework removal at wrong time triggered platform failure and 21m fall

    Laing O’Rourke Construction Limited and Expanded Structures Limited have been fined at total of £125k following an incident at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) Newcastle on 20 October 2006.

    Steven McColgan, 37, from Edinburgh, was injured when part of an unsupported working platform broke away. He suffered serious multiple life-changing injuries.

    Sections of falsework supporting the working platform were removed before work on the concrete slab was complete.

    Previous advice from HSE not heeded

    The opening through which Mr McColgan fell

    Both companies based at Bridge Place, Anchor Boulevard, Admiral’s Place, Crossways in Kent, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

    Laing O’Rourke Construction Ltd was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £13,756 and Expanded Structures Ltd was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,154.

    HSE Inspector Victoria Wise said:

    “Laing O’Rourke Construction Ltd had a duty as principal contractor to ensure that safe systems of work were in place and were being implemented on their site.

    The company had received previous advice from HSE on this specific matter, at another Newcastle site only two years earlier.

    Specialist contractor Expanded Structures Ltd had a duty to ensure that the risks associated with their work had been adequately assessed and that day to day controls and systems of work were effective”.

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