HSE says unsafe practices could easily have led to construction workforce fatality

Construction giant Laing O’Rourke has been prosecuted after one of its employees fell more than 3m during the construction of Liverpool One in August 2007.

William Taylor sustained multiple serious head and other injuries when he fell while working on the construction of concrete stairs inside one of the scheme’s main apartment blocks.

Two other workers escaped injury while working in the same unprotected area.

Liverpool One
The site accident occurred on construction of Liverpool One

Laing O’Rourke Construction Ltd was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay £10,000 costs at Liverpool crown court after pleading guilty to charges under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act that they failed to ensure the health and safety of their employees during the construction work.

Health and Safety Executive principal inspector Nic Rigby said the prosecution should act as a warning to those involved in the management of construction work.

“It was down to chance alone that this incident did not result in a fatality,” she said. “The accident occurred because the company failed to make adequate risk assessments and plan a safe system of work. This accident happened on the third floor of the building.

“Had the accident not occurred this same system of work would have been repeated on every one of the 12 floors of the building. A fall from that height would clearly have had much more serious consequences,” she added.