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Contractor fined after man dies falling through unmarked void

A London building firm has been fined after a chauffeur died when he fell through a void in the floor of a property undergoing renovation.

Luton Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 16 September 2017, Mr Bala Singh Koranga, who was visiting the property, stepped onto a blue tarpaulin that had been placed over a basement void to prevent rainwater entering the lower levels.

The chauffeur died after sustaining fatal lacerations to his neck from the fall.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that company had failed to put in place adequate construction site fencing and the site had no warning signs and used ineffective barriers around the concealed void.

SM Builder Expert Limited of Alnwick Road, London, was fined £5,280 and ordered to pay costs of £3,204 after pleading guilty to breaching regulation 13(1) of the construction (design and management) regulations 2015.

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Koranga’s son said: “My father was always very happy. He was always messing around and joking. It was what he was known for. He is greatly missed.”

HSE inspector Rauf Ahmed added: “This tragic incident could easily have been prevented. Builders need to take adequate measures to prevent unauthorised access into construction sites and prevent persons falling into open basements.”

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