Essex hospital building site crush death 'accidental'

The death of a building worker at an Essex hospital was "accidental" an inquest has heard.

Building worker Guilherme de Oliviera, 44, was crushed to death when a gust of wind caught a beam suspended from a crane and pinned him to a tower.

The inquest at Chelmsford Coroner's Court heard he was killed in November 2008 at Broomfield Hospital. His spine was broken and he died at the scene.

Coroner Tina Harrington recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Irwin Mitchell, representing Mr Oliviera's wife and children, said although they were pleased that site managers Bouygues UK Ltd had implemented new safety measures, more could be done to make building sites safer.

The family, which is pursuing a legal claim against Bouygues UK Ltd and Portscope Contractors Ltd, urged others in the industry to learn from the tragedy.

Since the accident, Bouygues UK and Portscope have made strides to improve the safety at the Broomfield site.

A spokesman for Bouygues UK was not available for comment.

Swept through the air

Mr Oliviera came to work in England in May 2008, leaving his wife Albertina, a shop assistant, and children Ricardo and Bruna, in Portugal.

The 44-year-old was working as a banksman, helping to create the concrete frame of a building.

A workmate used a crane to lift a large concrete beam and place it on to support towers.

Mr Oliviera and another man each then climbed the towers, unhooking the concrete beam, which was attached to the crane by two chains and hooks at each end.

Mr Oliviera's colleague successfully released the chains from his end of the beam, but when Mr Oliviera attempted to do the same on his side, the wind blew and his colleagues watched as he was swept through the air and crushed against a tower.

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