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Firms 'Led To Worker's Site Death'

Fatal Accident In Somerset



Safety failures by builders and architects caused a man to die at a building site in Somerset.

David Cairns, 64, employed by H&F Air Conditioning, was working at the new Exchange building in Express Park, Bridgwater town, in January 2005.

Mr Cairns died after a 9m fall to the ground. He was working from a high platform which could be reached by a ladder on the edge of a flat, low-parapet roof.

His employer was sub-contracting for London-based builders Express Park Construction Company at the time.

At Bristol Crown Court, Express Park, based in Harley Street, admitted breaking Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for not adequately managing its subcontractors. It was handed a £75,000 fine and told to pay prosecution costs of £68,000.

Oxford Architects Partnership, based in Hinksey Hill, Oxford, admitted breaking Regulations 13 and 14 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994, which are set out for designers to ensure they consider safety when drawing up their plans. The court fined the firm £120,000 and ordered it to pay £60,000 in costs.

Sue Adsett, an inspector with the Health and Safety Executive, said: "This is a tragic case where both the failings of the construction firm and the architects led to Cairns' death."

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