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30Aug91 UK: FINAL ACT FINED £5,000 AFTER DEATH OF WORKER AT PRUDENTIAL'S HOLBORN BARS SITE IN LONDON.

A demolition firm was fined £5,000 last week in a Health and Safety prosecution brought after a worker fell to his death at a London building site.Final Act of Hull, pleaded guilty of failing to ensure persons were not exposed to risk at the Prudential site at High Holborn, London, in October 1989.Mark Bishop, prosecuting, said the accident happened while the company - then known as A Ogden and Sons - was involved in demolishing and refurbishing the Prudential site.Terry Heckford, 41, of Westcliffe on Sea, Essex, was working in a courtyard where men were demolishing a concrete roof supported by metal beams.The beams were not secured to the wall. When two lumps of concrete collapsed, the men burning the beams out decided to rest on the arm of an excavation machine which knocked out the concrete.But Mr Heckford was not told about this and when he started work on the beams, 'the piece of concrete fell beneath him causing him to fall to the ground and the concrete fell on top of him, tragically killing him', said Mr Bishop.He added that the company should have adhered to its code of conducting a survey before starting work and providing a safe platform on the courtyard.Health and Safety inspector Michael Tonge said the firm had been fined £1,000 for a similar offence after another of his workers was killed in January 1989.David Burgess, defending, said Final Act had bought the company 24 hours after the accident and 'shook up the safety as well as the management'.'There is no question of the change of name being in any way some suprious attempt to put a fresh cosmetic face on the company.'He added that compensation for Mr Heckford's family was the most important issue.Mr Burgess said he was unable to produce a copy of the site survey but assured the court it was usual practice for one to be conducted.The firm was ordered to pay costs of £4,746,06.An inquest at City Coroner's Court in July last year was told that Mr Heckford had died from carebral lacerations and a fractured skull. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.