An international construction firm has been fined £800,000 after inadequate site supervision was found to have led to the death of a worker at Heathrow airport. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court.
In October 2014, two workers had been attempting to manoeuvre a malfunctioning scissor lift which had broken down on a service road. In order to remove the obstruction, the workers were directed by managers to tow the scissor lift away using a dumper truck. As the driver operated the truck, his foot became stuck between the brake and accelerator, causing the vehicle to reverse at speed. The other worker was standing between the scissor lift and dumper truck. He suffered crush injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
An investigation by the HSE revealed that neither worker was authorised with the appropriate certificate to use the dumper truck. The Court heard how the company had failed to address a trend of workers carrying out tasks they were not trained or authorised for. It was said that the company had failed to implement appropriate supervision and segregation between workers and moving vehicles. Following the sentence, HSE reiterated the dangers of using workplace transport without proper planning, management or monitoring of the risks involved.