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Laing O’Rourke fined £800k for Heathrow fatality

26 Mar 17 Laing O’Rourke has been fined £800,000 for inadequate site supervision leading to the death of an employee.

The same type of vehicles as were involved in the incident
The same type of vehicles as were involved in the incident

Philip Griffiths, 38, was killed while working for Laing O’Rourke at Heathrow Airport in October 2014.

Southwark Crown Court heard that Philip and his brother Paul Griffiths were trying to move a broken down scissor lift on an airport service road. Paul Griffiths tried to tow the scissor lift away using a dumper truck under the direction of managers. But his foot got stuck between the brake and the accelerator and the truck accidentally reversed. Philip, who was standing between the two vehicles, was crushed between the dumper truck and the scissor lift. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that neither worker an operators’ certificate for using dumper trucks, and that the operation was not properly overseen or managed.

Following the incident on 2nd October 2014, Laing O’Rourke Construction Ltd of Dartford pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. It was fined £800,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.

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HSE Inspector Jack Wilby said after sentence: “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.”

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