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News » UK » Dropped staircase fatality reaches court » published 25 Apr 2017

Dropped staircase fatality reaches court

Specialist subcontractor CMF Ltd has been ordered to pay more than £200,000 after the death of a man during construction of the recently completed Frances Crick Institute building in London.

Laing O'Rourke completed construction of the £500m Frances Crick Institute in 2016 Above: Laing O'Rourke completed construction of the £500m Frances Crick Institute in 2016

Richard Laco, 31, died on site on 6th November 2013 when a concrete staircase that was in the process of being installed by CMF was dropped, crushing him to death.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found there was no safe system of work in place for the installation of the staircases throughout this project. It was also found the company failed to appropriately supervise this work activity.

The £500m project was already subject to controversy at the time with the Unite trade union claiming that its officials had been barred from site by main contractor Laing O'Rourke. [See previous report here.]

CMF Ltd of Central Way, Feltham, Middlesex pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. It was fined £185,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,606.14.

HSE inspector Stephen Farthing said after the hearing: “This incident could have been prevented if the company had properly planned the lifting process before work had begun. Duty holders have the responsibility of ensuring that safe and suitable lifting plans are in place before carrying out any work involved with heavy loads.”




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This article was published on 25 Apr 2017 (last updated on 25 Apr 2017).

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