HSE may pursue criminal prosecution after jury finds that Kieron Deeney was killed unlawfully when he fell through a hatch

Laing O’Rourke may face a criminal prosecution by the HSE after an inquest jury returned an “unlawful killing” verdict on the death of a steel worker.

Steel fixer Kieron Deeney died on site in 2004 when a hatch cover gave way, causing him to fall 40 feet to his death. The court was told the access point was only covered by a piece of plywood, fixed with two nails.

The verdict, given at Poplar Coroner’s Court, means that the HSE will now decide whether to bring a criminal prosecution against Laing O’Rourke under the Health and Safety Act 1974.

Kieron’s widow Jennifer said: “The coroner’s inquest into the death of my husband has been a very painful event. How many other families will need to suffer before sufficient action is taken to prevent these accidents from happening?”