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Wed June 16 2021

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£550,000 fine for fatal hoarding failure

28 Jun 16 London-based Monavon Construction Ltd has been fined £550,000 after two men fell to their death through one of its site hoardings.

The Netley Street building site
The Netley Street building site

The firm had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of corporate manslaughter and a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Monavon Construction was responsible for a building site in Netley Street at the junction with Hampstead Road, London NW1. Work had been ongoing at the site for approximately three years and construction was nearing its conclusion.

Part of the site bordered Netley Street and plywood hoardings had been put in place there, which covered the pavement. On 14th October 2013 work began to change the hoarding so the pavement could be reinstated. On Friday 18th October this work had been completed leaving the hoardings, approximately 1.2 metres high, fixed by wooden struts to a wall behind which measured between 130mm to 280mm in height.

Behind this wall was a drop of approximately four metres down into a basement area.

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Gavin Brewer, 32, and Stuart Meads, 34, were walking in Netley Street, NW1 in the early hours of Saturday 19th October 2013. CCTV footage revealed them to have been arguing and scuffling with one another. As the pair walked past the building site they made contact with the hoarding which gave way, sending both men falling into the basement area. Both were pronounced dead at the scene following their fall.

The Metropolitan Police launched a joint investigation with the Health & Safety Executive. This investigation found that the hoardings had been fixed in such a way that only negligible force would have been required to make them give way.

Monavon was fined £250,000 each for the deaths of Gavin Brewer and Stuart Meads as well as £50,000 for health and safety breaches. They were also ordered to pay £23,653 prosecution costs.

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