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Laing O’Rourke lands £800k fine over Heathrow Airport fatality

Major construction firm Laing O’Rourke has been handed a £800,000 fine after a worker accidentally reversed a dump truck, fatally crushing his brother.

Laing O’Rourke lands £800k fine over Heathrow Airport fatality
The HSE staged a reconstruction of the accident. Image: HSE

On 2 October 2014, Laing O’Rourke employees Paul and Philip Griffiths were attempting to tow away a broken down scissor lift on a service road at Heathrow Airport.

Paul Griffiths was operating a dump truck under the direction of managers when his foot became stuck between the brake and the accelerator. His brother Philip was standing between the truck and the scissor lift and was fatally crushed when the truck suddenly reversed. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that neither worker had the appropriate certificate to operate the dumper, and that Laing O’Rourke had failed to properly oversee and manage the operation.

Laing O’Rourke Construction of Crossways in Dartford, Kent, pleaded guilty to breaching reg 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined at Southwark Crown Court on 24 March. The construction firm was also ordered to pay costs of £10,000.

HSE inspector Jack Wilby said that had Laing O’Rourke provided appropriate supervision of the operation, then better segregation between the siblings could have been established and maintained.


Nic Warburton is acting editor, IOSH Magazine

 Nick Warburton was previously acting editor of IOSH Magazine. Before that he was editor of SHP and he has also worked on Local Authority Waste and Recycling and Environmental Health Practitioner


  • Driving a dumper is the same

    Permalink Submitted by D.D on 30 March 2017 - 10:02 pm

    Driving a dumper is the same as driving a car (was the guy licensed to drive a car).
    Maybe this was just human error. The only time you can get hold of a HSE employee is
    when someone is hurt or dead.

  • What we have to remember is

    Permalink Submitted by Joe The Job on 30 March 2017 - 10:17 pm

    What we have to remember is sometimes workers just do things without the Managements knowledge. You cant watch every worker 24/7.

    It is amazing the only time you can get hold of a health & safety executive employee, is when a death or serious accident has occurred.


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