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Family Welcomes HSE Decision To Prosecute After Incident Involving Engineer On Bristol Building Site

Worker Hit By Scaffold Pipe


The Health and Safety Executive is to take legal action following an accident in which an engineer was seriously injured whilst working on a Bristol building site in July 2008.

Richard Chodkiewicz, from Lawrence Weston, was employed on the Broad Quay redevelopment on the city centre. On the day of the incident he was working at the bottom of a lift shaft when he was struck by a scaffold pole that was being used as an improvised plumb bob. The pole fell around 18 storeys, striking Mr Chodkiewicz on the head and causing him to suffer severe, traumatic brain injuries.”

“The family has asked us to investigate the circumstances of Mr Chodkiewicz’s accident,” says Deborah Bigwood, a workplace accident expert at the Bristol offices of law firm Irwin Mitchell.

“Mr Chodkiewicz’s relatives welcome the HSE’s decision to prosecute his employer, specialist lift company Hoistway, and the main contractor, Miller Construction, for breaches of the Working at Height regulations.

“The injuries Mr Chodkiewicz suffered have left him in need of round-the-clock care and support.  His family believes that this tragedy was totally avoidable if only correct workplace safety procedures had been followed.  We await the outcome of the prosecution with interest.”

A Labour Force Survey* estimated that in 2009/2010 4% of employees in Britain worked in the construction sector and 7% of reported injuries to employees were in construction.  It also accounted for 35% of all reported injuries involving high falls.  The survey also showed that workplace injury and work-related ill health lost the construction industry 3.3 million working days.

* Labour Force Survey http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/industry/construction/index.htm