Heavy fines for companies after worker crushed near Lakeside

Two companies have been fined a total of £130,000 after an Aylesbury worker was killed by a 31-tonne concrete beam on a building site near Lakeside.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the two firms – Micor Ltd of Stock Road, West Hanningfield, Chelmsford, and Crane and Transport Services Ltd of Hartley, Kent – after the incident on 6 April 2006.

The court heard that Gary Drinkald, 43, was working for Micor Ltd during the overnight demolition work of the A1306 Stifford Rail Bridge, West Thurrock. A 31-tonne concrete beam had been removed from the bridge and placed on the back of a low loader lorry. The chains securing the beam were removed from the crane before it was secured to the low loader. The beam then fell – crushing Mr Drinkald under it.

Micor Ltd was the main demolition contractor, and pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. They were fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,000 at Basildon Crown Court on Friday 11 March 2011.

Crane and Transport Services Ltd, was subcontracted to provide staff to supervise the lifting procedure and pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. They were fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.

Following the hearing, HSE Inspector Nicola Surrey said:

“A family, including four children have had their lives devastated by this tragic incident. With adequate planning and supervision of how the concrete beam should have been secured on the low loader lorry, this outcome could have been avoided. This case is a warning to other employers that there are serious consequences for not protecting their workforce.”

Both Micor Ltd and Crane and Transport Services Ltd pleaded guilty to the above charges in Southend Crown Court on 27 May 2010.

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