Demolition Firms Fined Over Death

Labourer killed by falling steel prop


Two demolition firms have been fined a total of £115,000 over the death of a labourer.

Rafal Przestrzelski, employed by sub-contractor Bayoak Demo Ltd, was killed when a steel prop fell on him during the demolition of a house in Paddington, London, in July 2005.

The Old Bailey heard how Mr Przestrzelski, of Wood Green, London, had been asked to remove the steel props supporting a slab of concrete on the site. The 29-year-old was killed when the final prop - overloaded with the concrete slab's weight - fell on him.

John F Hunt Demolition Ltd, which managed the project, and Bayoak Demo Ltd both admitted health and safety breaches over Mr Przestrzelski's death.

A Health and Safety Executive probe found that a full structural survey of the section of the building being worked on had not been completed.

John F Hunt Demolition Ltd of Grays in Essex admitted breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc. 1974 and was fined £85,000 and ordered to pay £25,000 in costs.

Bayoak Demo Ltd, of Barking in London, also pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc. 1974. The company was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £8,000 in costs.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “I welcome the fines imposed against these two companies following this tragic fatal accident at work.

“Falls from height/falling objects remain a major category of injury/death following a work accident.

“Sadly, in many cases, the accident could have been avoided if those responsible for the safety of the workers had fulfilled the duties imposed upon them.

“All too often, I have to help workers, who have been injured or killed in a work accident, pursue their compensation claim.  In many cases, the accidents could and should have been avoided.”