Wales

Carillion fined £130,000 over Russell Samuel's death in Swansea

  • 24 November 2012
  • From the section Wales
Swansea's Meridian Quay is the tallest building in Wales
Image caption Swansea's 29-storey Meridian Quay Tower is the tallest building in Wales

A major construction firm has been fined £130,000 over the death of a worker who fell 62ft (19m) at a Swansea building site.

Self-employed Russell Samuel, of Porth, Rhondda Cynon Taf, was working on the Meridian Quay development in 2008.

Carillion Construction Ltd was behind the project and Mr Samuel worked for sub-contractor Febrey.

Both firms admitted health and safety breaches at Swansea Crown Court - Carillion £130,000 and Febrey £85.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the court heard father-of-two Mr Samuel was working on a nine-storey block of flats which is part of the Meridian Quay development that includes Wales' tallest building, the 29-storey Tower.

He was dismantling scaffolding platforms when he fell to the ground, narrowly missing carpenter Raymond Haines who was working directly below.

Mr Samuel, 40, suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured skull. He was taken to Swansea's Morriston Hospital but died two days later on 24 January 2008.

The HSE said Wolverhampton-based Carillion admitted breaching section two and three of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The company was fined a total of £130,000 and ordered to pay £52,500 in costs, said the HSE.

The HSE added Bristol-based Febrey Ltd, which has gone into liquidation, also admitted the same breaches and was fined £85.

'Biggest killer'

Febrey director Michael Febrey, from Bristol, admitted breaching section 37 of the Act and will be fined at a later date, said the HSE.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Anne-Marie Orrells said: "There were recurrent indicators that should have alerted Carillion to Febrey's persistent and systematic failures throughout the whole project.

"Yet Carillion failed to adequately address Febrey's significant failings. As the principal contractor on site, Carillion had a clear duty to plan, manage and monitor the construction work."

She said falls from height were still the biggest killer in the construction industry.

"Mr Samuel's children and family will have to live with the consequences of the defendants' failings for the rest of their lives," added Ms Orrells.

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