Laing O’Rourke has been fined by the HSE after one of its workers fell 21 metres

Laing O’Rourke has been fined £125,000 after one of its workers suffered “life-changing” injuries when he fell on a Tyneside site.

Steven McColgan, 37, from Edinburgh, was carrying out concrete post tensioning work at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle when he fell 21 metres. As a result of the fall he suffered serious multiple injuries to his head and body and his injuries continue to be life-changing.

Newcastle Crown Court heard yesterday that the accident was caused by the collapse of a temporary working platform he was standing on. An HSE investigation found that it collapsed because sections of its temporary support were removed prematurely.

Laing O’Rourke Construction Ltd was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £13,756, and Expanded Structures Ltd, a Laing O’Rourke subsidiary, was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,154.

After the trial, HSE Inspector Victoria Wise said: “Laing O’Rourke Construction Ltd and Expanded Structures Ltd failed in their duty of care to Mr McColgan, who was lucky to survive the fall.

“It is tragic that Mr McColgan’s injuries could so easily have been avoided if those in a position of responsibility had effectively discharged their duties”.

“Laing O’Rourke Construction Ltd had a duty as principal contractor to ensure that safe systems of work were in place and were being implemented on their site.

“The company had received previous advice from HSE on this specific matter, at another Newcastle site only two years earlier.

“Specialist contractor Expanded Structures Ltd had a duty to ensure that the risks associated with their work had been adequately assessed and that day to day controls and systems of work were effective”.