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WORKMAN FATALLY INJURED BY FALLING CONCRETE BEAM

Lifting operation went tragically wrong during dismantling of road bridge beam

Micor Ltd and Crane and Transport Services Ltd have been fined a total of £130,000 after a workman died when he was crushed by a 31-tonne concrete beam during a lifting operation on an Essex construction project in 2006.

Basildon Crown Court heard that Gary Drinkald, 43, was working for Micor Ltd during overnight demolition work on the A1306 Stifford Rail Bridge, West Thurrock, Essex.

The 31-tonne concrete beam had been removed from the bridge and placed on the back of a low loader lorry. The chains securing the beam were removed from the crane before it was secured to the low loader and the beam fell crushing Mr Drinkald.

Operation not properly planned and supervised

Micor Ltd was the main demolition contractor, and pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. They were fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,000 at Basildon Crown Court on Friday 11 March 2011.

Crane and Transport Services Ltd, was subcontracted to provide staff to supervise the lifting procedure and pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. They were fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.

Both Micor Ltd and Crane and Transport Services Ltd pleaded guilty to the above charges in Southend Crown Court on 27 May 2010.

Following the hearing, 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.”

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