Work planning failure results in death

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HSE say a fatal accident in which a man fell from a wall as he worked on CCTV cameras above the M5 could have been prevented if it wasn’t for the major failings in the way his work was planned.

An HSE official commented after the deceased’s employer, Serco Ltd of Hook, Hampshire, and principal contractor, Birse Civils Ltd of Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, were prosecuted for failing to protect him as he worked at the site near Junction 20 Northbound, between Clevedon and Gordano, during January 2006. He had not been warned of the 12-metre drop before he fell off the wall into bushes.

Serco Ltd admitted breaching r.4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and r.11(i)(a) of the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 for which it was fined a total of £200,000 plus costs of £36,186.

Birse Civils Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching r.11(i)(a) of the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and was fined £100,000 with costs of £180,093.

The companies had also failed to cooperate with each other to make sure workers at the site were not placed in danger.

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