Court imposes total fines of £115,000 on John F Hunt Demolition and Bayoak Demo after steel prop kills 29-year-old
Two demolition companies have been fined a total of £115,000 after a labourer was killed by a falling steel prop.
Essex-based John F Hunt Demolition Ltd and Bayoak Demo Ltd of London both pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches concerning the death of 29-year-old Rafal Przestrzelski in 2005.
The Central Criminal Court, heard Przestrzelski, 29, of Wood Green, London, was employed as a labourer by demolition subcontactor Bayoak Demo Ltd.
John F Hunt Demolition Ltd acted as principal contractor on the project.
On 25 July 2005, Rafal Przestrzelski was told to remove a number of steel props supporting a slab of concrete, during the demolition of a development in Paddington, London. When the props were removed, the concrete slab fell to the ground and an overloaded prop struck Przestrzelski, causing fatal internal injuries.
The joint investigation by the Metropolitan Police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found a full structural survey of the section of the building that was being worked on had not been undertaken.
Rafal Przestrzelski was the innocent victim of a basic error of judgement by others that cost him his life
The investigation found that the collapse was inevitable, as the structure was not physically tied onto the building as the management had assumed.
John F Hunt Demolition Ltd of Essex, was fined £85,000 and ordered to pay £25,000 in costs.
Bayoak Demo Ltd was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £8,000 in costs.
After the sentencing HSE inspector Giles Meredith said: “Rafal Przestrzelski was the innocent victim of a basic error of judgement by others that cost him his life.
“There are lessons to be learned both about the importance of carrying out detailed surveys and also about making sure that the right people are consulted at the right time. The price of making an ill-informed decision about the structure was enormous."