Building firms fined after death
Posted Mon, 09 Jul 2012
Two building firms were given fines totalling £301,000 after an employee died from a 22 metre fall in Manchester.
Christopher Heaton, of St Helens, was at work in the centre of Manchester city centre on scaffolding when he became tangled up with a chain and was forced over the railings.
An investigation was launched by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), who then prosecuted the main contractor for the building site, Amec Group Ltd, as well as steel-erection company Shawton Engineering Ltd for Mr Heaton's death.
The investigation had revealed that work had not been safely planned or monitored and that incorrect studs were used to keep the chain in place.
Mr Heaton, 25, died from injuries sustained after he fell roughly seven floors on 29 April 2004, Liverpool Crown Court heard.
Following a trial, the court found Amec Group Ltd, of Birchwood Boulevard in Birchwood, Warrington, guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety etc Act 1974, by neglecting to ensure employee safety. The firm was forced to pay £300,000 in fines and also £333,866 in prosecution costs on 29 June 2012.
Shawton Engineering Ltd, of Sankey Valley Industrial Estate, Newton le Willows, Merseyside, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(2)(a) of the same Act for neglecting to provide and maintain work safety. The firm was given a nominal fine of £1,000 with no costs after having gone into administration.
Copyright Press Association 2012