A man accidentally killed his brother on a construction site while driving a dumper truck, a court has heard.
The construction firm has now been fined after the death of Philip Griffiths at Heathrow Airport in October 2014.
Attempting to move broken lift
Philip’s brother Paul was attempting to move a broken down scissor lift on a service road, while working for Laing O’Rourke.
He tried to tow the scissor lift away using a dumper truck under the direction of managers, Southwark Crown Court heard.
But his foot got stuck between the brake and the accelerator as the truck reversed. His brother Philip was standing between the two vehicles and was crushed. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Neither brother was actually authorised with the appropriate certificate to use the dumper truck, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found. It also revealed that the whole operation had not been properly overseen or managed.
Laing O’Rourke Construction Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, was fined £800,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.
HSE Inspector Jack Wilby said: “This incident was a tragedy for all concerned and, as revealed by our investigation, entirely avoidable.
“Laing O’Rourke did nothing to address the trend of these workers carrying out tasks they weren’t trained or authorised for. These dedicated staff, including Philip and his brother, needed appropriate supervision.
“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.”
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: April 6, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown