Andrew Lowne Was Crushed By The Glass Curtain Wall Unit When it Fell From The Steel Frame It Was Supposed To Be Attached To
An inquest into the death of a construction worker who was crushed at a building site by a falling glass wall unit has found that lessons should be learned from the tragic accident.
Andrew Lowne from Munster Square, London, was part of a team installing glass curtain wall units at a construction site at 20 Eastbourne Mews on June 5, 2015, when one of the units – which can weigh more than half a ton - fell from the steel frame is was supposed to be attached to, on top of him. The principal contractor was Wates Group and Overgate Developments Ltd was contracted to install the glass units.
Despite attempts to resuscitate the 51-year-old father-of-two, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Andrew’s widow, Migle, instructed expert workplace injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her husband’s death and support the family through the inquest.
At the conclusion of the four-day inquest, the jury at Westminster Coroner’s Court concluded that the banksman’s death was an accident but added that the risk of window units falling from a stillage during the decanting process had not been specifically addressed in the lifting plan and method statement and mitigating steps were not formally incorporated into standard working procedures.
The jury also concluded that there was no record of formal inspection of the bands securing units to the stillage after they had been delivered to the site. The window unit that fell on Mr Lowne was not sufficiently secured.
Migle, who was married to Andrew for 14 years, said: “Andrew’s death is something I don’t think my daughter and I have even begun to come to terms with.
“Nothing can change what happened to Andrew or the impact his terrible loss has had on our family, but it is incredibly important to us that lessons can be learned to prevent similar accidents in the future.”
The HSE concluded in its report that there were no formal systems of work in place to check the condition of the banding used to secure the units to the steel frame – or stillage - at any stage once it had been delivered to the site. The HSE inspector told the hearing that he had not seen any evidence of a risk assessment taking place prior to the accident which considered the risk of a panel falling free from the stillage during the installation process.
Expert OpinionAndrew’s family are still reeling from the sudden and tragic death of a much-loved husband and doting father.
The inquest revealed some very concerning safety practices – or lack thereof – and we will be investigating these on Migle’s behalf in order to get justice for Andrew.
It is also important that the families of other construction workers are reassured that lessons have been learned from this tragedy which will ensure no one else faces the difficulties Andrew’s family has been forced to endure.
We are now working to secure a fair financial settlement for Migle which will provide financial security for the family. Nothing, of course, can change the past but hopefully it will enable them to begin to come to terms with what has happened. Chani Dhaliwal - Partner
Our expert personal injury lawyers could help you make a No Win No Fee compensation claim if you’ve been injured by a falling object at work. See our Falling Object Claims page for more information.