Construction firms fined £140k for health and safety failures

A construction firm and a subcontractor have been fined more than £140,000 after it was revealed that safety failures at a construction site in Bristol led to a man suffering severe brain damage.

Richard Chodliewicz, 53, was working on a lift installation at the new Radisson Blu Hotel site in Bristol in July 2008 when the incident occurred. He was at the bottom of the lift shaft with a colleague, whilst another man was stationed at the top of the shaft 18 stories up. The man at the top was raising a 17lb scaffolding tube up the lift shaft when the piano wire holding it came untied, causing the tube to fall onto Mr Chodliewicz, hitting him on the head.

As a result of his injuries, Mr Chodliewicz suffered permanent brain damage and now requires round-the-clock care.

Two companies were prosecuted over the incident main contractor Miller Construction and subcontractor and lift engineering firm Hoistway. Bristol Crown Court ruled that more safety measures should have been implemented, including health and safety training, a more thorough risk assessment and better site management.

Miller Construction was fined £40,000 plus court costs of £17,232, whilst Hoistway was ordered to pay £70,000 in fines and £14,616 in court costs.