18 August 2008
Construction firms warned to comply with health and safety regulations
It is essential that construction firms work to ensure the safety of their employees who work at height, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has asserted.
The body issued a warning to construction companies and scaffold builders following a hearing at Maidstone crown court in which Carillon JM was fined £70,000 for a breach of health and safety regulations that lead to the death of an employee with the firm.
In addition to the fine, the company was also ordered to pay £24,000 in costs.
Alexander McCully, a Carillon JM employee, died when a board broke under his feet on an internal scaffold he was repairing. He fell 17 metres to his death - which could have been prevented had the company ensured that there was an anchor point for him to affix his fall harness on the area where he was working.
"This was a wholly avoidable incident which led to unnecessary loss of life," said John Underwood, an HSE inspector.
"I hope this case and the fine imposed will serve as a lesson to scaffold builders and the tank building industry, and will make sure others avoid a similar fate," he added.
The HSE recently carried out a "crackdown" on more than 100 businesses in Tyneside, the group's website has reported.
A number of industrial sites were found to be in breach of health and safety rules regarding working at height and ensuring appropriate ventilation.