Precautions on paper lacking in practice

Fatal fall through opening in concrete slab during work with breaker

A London-based construction company has been fined £300,000 for safety breaches after a workman died on an Acton construction project in November 2015.

Westminster Magistrates heard how the employee was using a concrete breaker to make an opening for a stairwell when he fell 7.5 m to the floor below sustaining fatal head injuries.

Control measures “virtually absent”

HSE investigators found the work was not properly planned, adequately supervised or carried out in a safe manner when the incident occurred.

  • Formation Construction Limited – of Hackney Road, London, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and has been fined £300,000 and ordered to pay £17,528 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Kevin Smith said:“This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to implement suitable and sufficient measures to prevent falls.

The risks associated with work at height are well known throughout the construction industry.

While, on paper, Formation Construction Limited had identified control measures which could have prevented this incident from occurring; in practice, these safeguards were virtually absent.

Ultimately, the company failed to control the risk on site and as a result one of its workers fell to his death.”

Precautions on paper lacking in practice