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PC FAILED TO SECURE SUPPLY CHAIN COMPLIANCE

Subcon director held to account for liquidated company fatal errors

Carillion Construction Ltd and Febrey Ltd have been prosecuted after a workman died when he fell 19m during the dismantling of a scaffold ladder access platform on a Swansea apartment project in 2008.

Swansea Crown Court heard that scaffolder Russell Samuel was dismantling the platform ready for the installation of the 4th floor roof and staircase when he fell narrowly missing a carpenter working below. He suffered multiple injuries and died two days later in hospital.

HSE investigators found Febrey Ltd, had in place “inadequate and ineffective health and safety management arrangements”, in particular:

  • little or no communication, information and instruction provided to its workforce;
  • site management team inadequately trained in H&S despite repeated warnings by health and safety consultants; and 
  • persistent and systematic failures to control work at height risks at site.

The failing of director Michael Febrey was also found to have had a direct bearing on the sequence of events that led to the death. Mr Febrey of Bristol pleaded guilty to a breach by virtue of Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He will be fined at a later date.

Carillion Construction Ltd was the principal contractor and was made aware of and had detected many failings in the safety management of Febrey Ltd and “failed to gain improvement from Febrey on many occasions.”

Indicators should have alerted PC to failures throughout the project

Carillion Construction Ltd of Birch Street, Wolverhampton pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined a total of £130,000 and ordered to pay £52,500 in costs.

Febrey Ltd, of Burcott Road, Bristol admitted breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has since gone into liquidation was fined a total of £85, although the judge said he would have fined them £250,000 before it became insolvent.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Anne-Marie Orrells said:

“There were recurrent indicators that should have alerted Carillion to Febrey’s persistent and systematic failures throughout the whole project. Yet Carillion failed to adequately address Febrey’s significant failings. As the principal contractor on site, Carillion had a clear duty to plan, manage and monitor the construction work.

Falls from height are still the biggest killer in the construction industry and this is the tragic reality of what can happen when adequate arrangements are not in place to manage health and safety.

Mr Samuel’s children and family will have to live with the consequences the defendants’ failings for the rest of their lives”

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