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    INQUEST: CORONER CALLS FOR ACTION

    Risk of future deaths unless action taken

    It has been reported (10/11) by the Camden Journal that the St Pancras Coroner in London (Mary Hassell) has sent a “Prevention of Future Deaths” report to the chief coroner following an inquest into the death of Richard Laco at the Francis Crick Institute project in November 2013.

    The £500m Francis Crick building contract was won by Laing O’Rourke and installation of the staircases carried out by CMF Construction.

    Mr Laco, aged 31, died when a “one-tonne concrete block fell on him after it slipped out of a hoist”. The jury delivered a narrative verdict and Ms Hassell said:

    “The evidence revealed matters giving rise to concern. In my opinion, there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken. In the circumstances, it is my statutory duty to report to you.”

    Ms Hassell found that a “different methodology” was used to lift the concrete staircase than that used for others on site. She added that “no part of the method statement, risk assessment or lift plan recognised” the change. The Coroner also said:

    “Some witnesses did not appear familiar with basic terminology, despite still holding a pivotal role in planning/approving the plans for such processes, and gave evidence that did not demonstrate clarity of understanding of the processes.”

    A response to Ms Hassell’s report from the chief coroner should be sent to her by December 21.

     

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