Construction company fined for death of workerTuesday, July 17th, 2012
A substantial fine has been handed to a construction firm for the death of a carpenter killed by falling concrete at Bath University.
Philip Hames, from Weston-super-Mare, died in November 2007 after being struck by a falling slab of concrete.
The man’s employers, Creagh Concrete Products Ltd, based in County Antrim, was found guilty of a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
At Bristol Crown Court they were ordered to pay a fine of £100,000, plus £140,000 in costs.
However, another firm, BAM Construction, was found not guilty of breaching health and safety regulations.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Mr Hames was helping in the construction of new student accommodation at the Claverton Down campus.
As he worked, he adjusted a metal prop, not knowing it was supporting a concrete plank directly above him.
The plank fell onto Mr Hames, killing him instantly. A co-worker made a narrow escape.
Commenting after the hearing, HSE Inspector Ian Smart said deaths as a result of collapsing structures in the construction industry had increased over the last few years.
He added: “Mr Hames was an experienced carpenter but Creagh failed to recognise the scope of the work he was undertaking and failed to ensure he was made aware of how critical the placements of the props were and the fact they should not be adjusted.
“Therefore, Mr Hames would not have understood the outcome of his actions.
“It was foreseeable he and other workers on site would seek to move props and robust steps should have been taken to prevent this.”