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Firms fined £130k after worker crushed to death

Fines totalling £130,000 have been handed down to two firms after a worker was crushed to death by a 31-tonne concrete beam on a building site in Thurrock.

The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted Chelmsford based Micor and Kent based Transport Services after the incident on 6 April 2006.

The court heard that Gary Drinkald, 43, was working for Micor during the overnight demolition work of the A1306 Stifford Rail Bridge in Thurrock.

A 31-tonne concrete beam had been removed from the bridge and placed on the back of a low loader lorry.

The chains securing the beam were removed from the crane before it was secured to the low loader.

The beam then fell - crushing Mr Drinkald under it.

Main demolition contractor Micor pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches and was handed a £100,000 fine and ordered to pay costs of £20,000.

Subcontractor Crane and Transport Services was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.

HSE inspector Nicola Surrey said:  “A family, including four children have had their lives devastated by this tragic incident. With adequate planning and supervision of how the concrete beam should have been secured on the low loader lorry, this outcome could have been avoided. This case is a warning to other employers that there are serious consequences for not protecting their workforce.”

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