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Laing O'Rourke fined £800k after sibling tragedy

Laing O’Rourke has been fined £800,000 after a worker was crushed by a truck driven by his brother.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation into the October 2014 incident found that Philip Griffiths, 38, was killed when his sibling Paul Griffiths accidentally reversed into him with a dumper truck at Heathrow Airport.

Southwark Crown Court heard the pair were trying to move a broken-down scissor lift on a service road with the truck while working for Laing O’Rourke.

While trying to tow the scissor lift, Paul Griffiths got his foot stuck between the dumper truck’s brake and accelerator, and the truck reversed.

Philip, who was standing between the two vehicles, suffered crush injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The HSE investigation found that neither worker was authorised with the appropriate certificate to use the dumper truck, and that the operation was not properly overseen or managed.

Laing O’Rourke Construction Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. It was fined £800,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.

HSE inspector Jack Wilby said: “This incident was a tragedy for all concerned and, as revealed by our investigation, entirely avoidable.

“Laing O’Rourke did nothing to address the trend of these workers carrying out tasks they weren’t trained or authorised for. These dedicated staff, including Philip and his brother, needed appropriate supervision.”

A Laing O’Rourke spokesperson said: “Laing O’Rourke fully accepts the findings of the court following the tragic events in October 2014.

“Our deepest sympathy and thoughts remain with Philip Griffiths’ family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time. The company is committed to continually reviewing and improving its health and safety systems.”

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