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MAJOR CONTRACTOR MANAGEMENT FOUND LACKING

Fatal dumper truck incident caused by inadequate ‘oversight’

Laing O’Rourke Construction Limited has been fined £800,000 after workman was fatally injured when he was struck by a site dumper on a project at Heathrow Airport in 2014.

Southwark Crown Court heard that the brother of Philip Griffiths reversed into his 38-year-old sibling when the two men were trying to move a broken down scissor lift on a service road whilst working for Laing O’Rourke.

Paul Griffiths tried to tow the scissor lift away using a dumper truck under the direction of managers. Whilst doing so his foot became stuck between the brake and the accelerator and the truck reversed.

Philip was standing between the two vehicles and suffered crush injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Operators unauthorised to use truck

HSE investigators found that neither workman was authorised with the appropriate certificate to use the dumper truck. In addition, HSE found that the operation was not properly overseen or managed.

Laing O’Rourke Construction Limited of Crossways, Dartford pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007) and was fined £800,000 with an order to pay £10,000 in prosecution costs.

This Regulation required the Principal Contractor to plan, manage and monitor the construction phase in a way which ensures it is carried out without risks to health or safety including facilitating co-operation and co-ordination. The Regulaton has since been replaced by a similar duty under the CDM Regulations 2015.

Speaking after sentence, HSE Inspector Jack Wilby said:

“This incident was a tragedy for all concerned and, as revealed by our investigation, entirely avoidable.

Laing O’Rourke did nothing to address the trend of these workers carrying out tasks they weren’t trained or authorised for. These dedicated staff, including Philip and his brother, needed appropriate supervision.

Had there been appropriate supervision, then better segregation between Philip and these two vehicles could have been established and maintained. This case should act as a reminder of the dangers of using workplace transport without proper planning, management or monitoring of the risks involved.”

 

The same type of vehicles involved in the incident

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