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    INQUEST: EXCLUSION ZONE DEFINITION UNCLEAR

    Jury finds language skills contributed to Crossrail worker death

    The BBC has reported that an inquest has heard how engineer Rene Tkacik (aged 44) was crushed to death by falling concrete in Holborn, central London, on 7 March 2014.

    The jury returned a narrative verdict and found his death involved contributory factors including “not being able to understand all briefings” and that the “exclusion zone definition was also unclear as it sometimes changed”.

    St Pancras Coroner’s Court heard Mr Tkacik was found within an exclusion zone “where wet concrete was being poured, which had not been clearly marked at the time of his death.”

    Mr Tkacik was working in the UK to earn money to send home to his family in Slovakia so he could pay for his daughter to attend university.

    In a statement, Crossrail told the BBC:

    “Safety has always been, and continues to be, the number one value for Crossrail and is critical to the delivery of the project. Crossrail has a good safety record and sets the most stringent contractor safety requirements in the industry. There is nothing so important on Crossrail that it cannot be done safely.”

    Lessons must be learned

    Construction union UCATT are calling on the construction industry to learn lessons from the death of Rene Tkacik. Steve Murphy, General Secretary of UCATT, said:

    “This was a terrible tragedy and my deepest condolences go to Mr Tkacik’s family. This death was clearly preventable and lessons must be learned from this tragedy to prevent similar accidents occurring in the future. No issues must be covered up to prevent similar deaths occurring in the future.”

    If the industry wants to learn from this tragedy and improve safety then it is essential there is full transparency. We urgently need an honest debate about how the entire industry, including the union movement, can increase the safety of workers.”

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