£1m fine for Cross­rail death


Hayes & Harlington Gazette - - NEWS - ALAN JONES & by QASIM PERACHA qasim.peracha@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @qasim­per­acha

CON­TRAC­TORS work­ing on Cross­rail have been fined £1.065 mil­lion after a worker died and two were in­jured in on-site ac­ci­dents.

Renè Tká­cik died March 7, 2014 after being crushed by fall­ing wet con­crete in the tun­nels in the Fisher Street area, near Hol­born.

Two other men were also in­jured near the same site, six days apart from each other, in Jan­uary 2015 heard South­wark Crown Court.

Three com­pa­nies, Bam, Fer­rovial and Kier were work­ing on the project in a joint ven­ture as BFK, and pleaded guilty to three of­fences fol­low­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Health and Safety Ex­ec­u­tive (HSE).

Mr Tká­cik, orig­i­nally from Slo­vakia was work­ing on a project to en­large the tun­nels by re­mov­ing the rings of ex­ist­ing pi­lot tun­nels and spray­ing wet con­crete on the walls.

Dur­ing this op­er­a­tion, a sec­tion of the roof col­lapsed, fa­tally crush­ing the 43-year-old.

BFK ad­mit­ted breach­ing Reg­u­la­tion 10(2) of the Work at Height Reg­u­la­tions 2005 and were fined £300,000.

Ter­ence ‘Ian’ Hughes suf­fered se­vere frac­tures to his right leg and crush in­juries to his left knee and shin after he was truck by a re­vers­ing ex­ca­va­tor while col­lect­ing equip­ment on Jan­uary 16, 2015.

Six days later, on Jan­uary 22, Alex Vz­i­tiu was hit by pres­surised water and con­crete de­bris, leav­ing him in hos­pi­tal for six days with head and hip in­juries as well as a bro­ken fin­ger

He was hit while clean­ing the pipes for spray­ing con­crete after a lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

The joint com­pa­nies pleaded guilty to breaches of Sec­tion 22 (1a) of the Con­struc­tion (De­sign and Man­age­ment) Reg­u­la­tions 2007, and were forced to pay £600,000 for Mr Hughes’ in­juries and £165,000 for the in­ci­dent with Mr Vz­i­tiu.

Along­side the to­tal £1.065m fine, the com­pa­nies have to pay £42,337.28 in costs.

HSE head of op­er­a­tions An­nette Hall said: “The omis­sion to im­ple­ment ex­clu­sion zones in a high hazard en­vi­ron­ment was a con­sis­tent fail­ure in this case.

“Had sim­ple mea­sures such as these been taken, all three in­ci­dents could have been pre­vented, and Renè Tká­cik may not have died.

“We be­lieve ev­ery per­son should be healthy and safe at work.

“Here, all three work­ers were tak­ing part in one of the most im­por­tant and chal­leng­ing in­fra­struc­ture pro­jects of the decade.

“It was this joint ven­ture’s duty to pro­tect its ded­i­cated and high­lyskilled work­force. On these three oc­ca­sions, BFK failed in its duty, with tragic con­se­quences for Renè Tká­cik and his fam­ily.”

A spokesper­son for the joint ven­ture said: “BFK ac­knowl­edges and ac­cepts the sen­tenc­ing de­ci­sion of the Court and is fully com­mit­ted to achiev­ing high stan­dards of health and safety.

“It is with deep re­gret that these in­ci­dents ever oc­curred and BFK will con­tinue to strive to achieve a work­ing en­vi­ron­ment free from in­ci­dent. We wish to con­vey our sin­cer­est sym­pa­thies to all the fam­i­lies, friends and col­leagues of the in­di­vid­u­als in­volved.

The new Cross­rail rail­way line, which runs from Read­ing in Berk­shire through cen­tral Lon­don, will open in December 2018.


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