Subsidiary Carillion JM admits negligence led to 2003 fatal scaffolding fall

Carillion JM has been fined £70,000 after pleading guilty to negligence in the death of employee Alexander McCully in 2003.

McCully died when he fell 17m from an incomplete scaffold platform on a Mowlem construction site on the Isle of Grain in Kent in December 2003. Mowlem became known as Carillion JM after its takeover by Carillion in 2006.

After a Health and Safety Executive investigation and hearing, during which the company entered a guilty plea, Maidstone crown court has fined Carillion JM a total of £70,000 and ordered it to pay £24,000 in costs.

Although McCully had been wearing a fall arrest harness, there was no suitable anchor point for him to attach his lanyard on the structure he was working on, a steel oil storage tank. The company had not ensured anchor points were fitted before construction.

HSE inspector John Underwood urged construction companies to properly plan and carry out their procedures for working at height.

He said: “This was a wholly avoidable incident which led to unnecessary loss of life. I hope this case and the fine imposed will serve as a lesson to scaffold builders and the tank building industry, and will make sure others avoid a similar fate.”