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Worker dies at Laing O’Rourke building site

A construction worker has been killed at Laing O’Rourke’s £600m Francis Crick Institute site in King’s Cross, London.

Emergency services responded to reports of a man seriously injured at Brill Place at 4.50pm on Wednesday 6 November.

The man had stopped breathing when a medical team arrived and was pronounced dead at the scene, a spokeswoman for the London Ambulance Service said.

Main contractor at the site Laing O’Rourke confirmed the man, named locally as Richard Laco, was a construction worker with one of its subcontractors.

A Laing O’Rourke spokesman said: “As lead contractor on the site, Laing O’Rourke is co-operating fully with the police and Health and Safety Executive.

“The thoughts of Laing O’Rourke and the entire Francis Crick Institute project team are with the family and colleagues of the deceased at this time.

“While investigations are continuing, it would be inappropriate to comment further or speculate as to the cause.”

The Francis Crick Institute site closed following the fatal incident and reopened on Monday 11 November.

Laing O’Rourke was awarded the project to build a UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation for the Francis Crick Institute in March 2011. It is due for completion in 2015.

Meanwhile, construction union Ucatt this week called on London mayor Boris Johnson to support the use of directly employed workers on all future public sector construction projects in London to improve construction safety in the capital.

It comes after the Health and Safety Executive’s latest list of workplace fatalities for the 12 months to April 2013 revealed that eight construction workers were killed in London in 2012/13, compared with four in 2011/12.

Ucatt said there was “evidence that sites where workers are directly employed rather than self-employed are safer” and pointed to the safety record of the London 2012 Olympics – where workers were directly employed and there were no construction fatalities – as an example.

Ucatt regional secretary for London and South-east Jerry Swain said: “These sites are better organised, safety levels are higher and you are more likely to see independent safety reps who dramatically improve safety.”

Worker remains in critical condition following M25 crash

A roadworker remains in a critical condition at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge following an incident on the M25 on 1 November.

The man was airlifted to hospital with life-threatening leg injuries after a lorry overturned between junctions 24 and 25, where a Balfour Beatty/Skanska joint venture is carrying out upgrade works for the Highways Agency.

A second man was airlifted to Chase Farm Hospital with north London with serious injuries. He is now in a stable condition but remains in hospital.

A third man has been discharged from hospital after being treated for leg injuries.

The Metropolitan Police said the 49-year-old driver of the lorry was arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He has been bailed until a date in December.

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