An architect has been fined £120,000 and has had to pay costs of a further £60,000 after a construction worker fell to his death

Oxford Architects Partnership, of Oxford, was handed the fine after pleading guilty to safety breaches at Bristol crown court last week.

The firm had been working on the Exchange conference centre in Bridgwater, Somerset, when 64-year-old Dan Cairns, an employee of subcontractor H&F Air Conditioning, fell to his death in January 2005.

Cairns had been working on the building’s air-conditioning plant, which was on a platform accessed via a ladder. However, the base of the ladder was next to the edge of a flat roof and Cairns fell from the ladder and over the edge of the roof, nine metres.

London-based Express Park Construction Company, which was the main contractor on the site, also pleaded guilty to safety breaches. The firm was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay costs of £68,000.

Speaking after the hearing, the Health and Safety Executive’s inspector Sue Adsett, said: “Designers must be aware that they can be held responsible where bad design is an important contributory factor to a workplace fatality.”