Worker killed in 14 metre fall through temporary platform

Specialist contractor Oliver Connell and Son and Rydon Construction have been fined a total of £860,000 after a worker fell to his death when a temporary platform collapsed.

Southwark Crown Court heard how, on 24 July 2015, Mr Vasile Nichitut was working on the fifth floor of the construction site at the Green Man Lane Estate, when he walked onto a temporary platform covering a vertical shaft, which collapsed beneath him.

He fell approximately 14m and died as a result of his injuries.

An HSE investigation found that Oliver Connell and Son Ltd had failed to ensure that work at height was properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe and practicable manner.

Specifically, there was no temporary works design for the platform and the company’s system for installing and inspecting it was inadequate.

Rydon Construction Ltd failed to plan, manage and monitor the work involving the temporary platform to ensure that, construction work is carried out without risks to health or safety.

They failed to identify the lack of design drawings and carry out suitable checks on the platform.

Oliver Connell and Son Ltd, of Greenford, pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £360,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4834.08.

Rydon Construction Ltd, of Forest Row, pleaded guilty to breaching CDM regulations and was fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of £40,740.88.

 

After the hearing, HSE inspector Owen Rowley said: “The consequences of temporary works failing can be dire. All contractors involved must ensure that an effective system for managing the temporary works on site is established and adhered to. Crucially, all temporary works require a design to ensure that they are suitable for purpose.

“In this case the failure to manage the risks associated with temporary works and work at height led to the entirely preventable death of Mr Nichitut.”

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