Firm fined £85 over worker's 60ft fall death
A BRISTOL building company has been fined for "persistent and systematic failures" that led to a worker's death in a fall at one of its sites.
But because Febrey Ltd has gone into liquidation the fine levelled was just £85. A judge said that had the company, whose director Michael Febrey faces sentencing at a later date, still been in business it would have been fined £250,000.
Swansea Crown Court heard that Russell Samuel was dismantling a scaffold ladder access platform ready for the installation of the roof and staircase on the fourth floor of the city's Meridian Quay apartment development in Swansea in January 2008, when he fell approximately 60 feet to the ground below, narrowly missing carpenter Raymond Haines, who was working directly below.
Mr Samuel, 40, suffered multiple injuries during his fall, including a fractured skull. He was taken to Morriston Hospital but died two days later.
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The father-of-two, from Porth in Wales, was self-employed and contracted by concrete structures builder Febrey Ltd to work as a scaffolder at the site.
A Health and Safety Executive investigation found the defendant, Febrey Ltd, had "inadequate and ineffective" safety management arrangements in place and there was "little or no communication, information and instruction provided to its workforce".
The HSE also said the on-site management team was not adequately trained, despite repeated warnings by its health and safety consultants, and this led to "persistent and systematic failures" to control risks of working at height.
Principal contractor Carillion Construction Ltd, of Wolverhampton, was fined a total of £130,000 and ordered to pay £52,500 in costs after admitting failing to ensure the safety of its employees and those under its control.
Febrey Ltd, of Burcott Road, Avonmouth, also admitted two health and safety breaches.
Febrey director Michael Febrey, of Rockleaze Road, Stoke Bishop, also pleaded guilty to a health and safety breach.
The HSE said his failing was found to have had a direct bearing on the sequence of events that led to the death of Mr Samuel.
He will be sentenced at a later date.
HSE inspector Anne-Marie Orrells said: "There were recurrent indicators that should have alerted Carillion to Febrey's persistent and systematic failures throughout the whole project.
"Yet Carillion failed to adequately address Febrey's significant failings. As the principal contractor on site, Carillion had a clear duty to plan, manage and monitor the construction work.
"Falls from height are still the biggest killer in the construction industry and this is the tragic reality of what can happen when adequate arrangements are not in place to manage health and safety.
"Mr Samuel's children and family will have to live with the consequences the defendants' failings for the rest of their lives."