Laing O’Rourke has been fined £800,000 following the death of an employee. While working for Laing O’Rourke at Heathrow Airport in October 2014, Philip Griffiths, 38, was killed as he attempted to tow a broken down scissor lift, using a dumper truck.
Southwark Crown Court heard that Philip and his brother Paul Griffiths were under the direction of managers when moving the scissor lift. However, when Paul got his foot stuck between and accelerator, the truck reversed, crushing Philip who was stood between the two vehicles.
It was later discovered, following a Health & Safety Executive investigation, that the operation was not properly overseen or managed and neither worker has an operators’ certificate for using dumper trucks.
Laing O’Rourke Construction Ltd of Dartford pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22 (1)(a) of the Construction Regulations 2007 and was subsequently fined £800,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.
HSE Inspector Jack Wilby commented that Laing O’Rourke did nothing to address the trend of these workers carrying out tasks they weren’t trained or authorised for and 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,” he added.
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