Com­pa­nies fined £1.3m over death of scaf­folder John

Nuneaton Telegraph - - NEWS - Enda Mullen News Re­porter enda.mullen@triniymir­ror.com

TWO com­pa­nies have been fined a to­tal of £1.3mil­lion fol­low­ing the death of a scaf­folder at the Cemex ce­ment works in Rugby al­most four years ago.

Tw e n t y - n i n e - y e a rold John Altoft, from Scun­thorpe, was just weeks away from his wed­ding day when he fell to his death af­ter be­ing struck by fall­ing de­bris in­side an in­dus­trial tower at the Law­ford Road plant.

The accident took place on Jan­uary 18, 2012, when a team from Cape In­dus­trial Ser­vices was in­stalling an ac­cess scaf­fold to en­able the re­lin­ing of the in­side of a steel plated ta­pered cylin­dri­cal struc­ture that forms a part of a pre­heated tower sys­tem.

War­wick Crown Court heard the team was work­ing in­side the tower when a fall of heavy con­crete de­bris caused Mr Altoft to fall seven me­tres to the bot­tom of the struc­ture, suf­fer­ing fa­tal head in­juries.

A col­league of his, Ty Smart, was also se­ri­ously in­jured. He suf­fered se­ri­ous wrist and arm frac­tures and has been un­able to work since the in­ci­dent.

The Health and Safety Even‘no‘

w, two years on I still miss John. Mine and John’s life to­gether was taken away from us... we grew up to­gether Ex­ec­u­tive (HSE) told the court both Cemex UK Oper­a­tions and Cape In­dus­trial Ser­vices Scaf­fold­ing should have co­or­di­nated and planned the work to pro­tect work­ers from the risk of fall­ing ma­te­ri­als.

Cemex of Egham, Sur­rey, pleaded guilty to breach­ing Sec­tion 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £700,000 and or­dered to pay £90,783 in costs.

Cape In­dus­trial Ser­vices, of Uxbridge, Mid­dle­sex ad­mit­ted breach­ing Sec­tion 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £600,000 and or­dered to pay £90,783 in costs.

Pay­ing trib­ute to Mr Altoft, his mother Michelle said: “John was very loyal and hard work­ing.

“He turned into the most hand­some, car­ing young man, and I could not be more proud of him.

“He would help any­one and be there when you needed him. I have lost the most pre­cious thing any mother could lose, and will never be re­placed – my child.”

Mr Altoft’s fi­ancée Carly Sar­gent added: “Even now, two years on I still miss John. Mine and John’s life to­gether was taken away from us. We grew up to­gether.

“He worked hard all his live with the in­ten­tion of be­com­ing my hus­band and hav­ing a fam­ily. This is all he wanted, we both wanted the same things.”

Speak­ing af­ter the con­clu­sion of the case, HSE in­spec­tor Sue Thomp­son said Mr Altoft’s death was “en­tirely pre­ventable”.

She said: “If both com­pa­nies had planned the work and man­aged the risks to the re­quired stan­dard this in­ci­dent would not have hap­pened.

“John Altoft should have been cel­e­brat­ing his wed­ding in­stead of the tragic cir­cum­stance of his fam­ily hav­ing to pre­pare for his fu­neral.

“This was an en­tirely pre­ventable sit­u­a­tion and proper plan­ning and pro­tec­tion from the fore­see­able dan­ger of fall­ing ma­te­rial would have pre­vented this tragedy.”

A four-day in­quest into Mr Altoft’s death in May 2013 at Coven­try Crown Court re­turned a ver­dict of ac­ci­den­tal death.

John Altoft died in Jan­uary 2012, just weeks be­fore he was due to get mar­ried

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