A demolition contractor has been fined hundreds of thousands of pounds for serious breaches of health and safety after a man was fatally injured after falling six storeys through a lift shaft, while another was left with serious injuries.
Silviu Stefanita Radulescu, 31, was standing on a decommissioned elevator when the supporting chain snapped, causing it to plummet to the base of the lift shaft on January 17, 2011.
A second man, who was wearing a safety harness, survived the workplace accident after falling between the lift and the shaft wall.
London-based T.E. Scudder Ltd, part of the Carey Group, was fined £600,000 at Southwark Crown Court following a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation that uncovered the firm had failed to adequately plan the work.
Planning vital to safety
Mr Radulescu, a Romanian national, was not wearing a safety harness while working on the luxury apartment development site in London, an inquest into his death heard.
An HSE investigation into the incident found the planning and management of the project was insufficient and there was inadequate training provided.
Lisa Chappell, an HSE inspector, said: “The hazards associated with working at height and lifting were not appropriately addressed in the planning stage of this project. Furthermore, those involved in planning the job did not have appropriate training in lifting operations.
“This case highlights the importance of proper planning when working at height. This work must be appropriately supervised and completed by competent people.”
A guilty plea
T E Scudder Ltd acted as the principle contractor and employer on site. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, was fined £600,000 and ordered to pay £27,408 in costs.
A second defendant was also charged in the proceedings. Director of Intervale Ltd, Patrick Pearson, was the contract manager responsible for planning the decommissioning of lift shafts on site and pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Mr Pearson has been ordered to complete 120 hours community service and pay costs of £3000.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: March 17, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown