Harlesden company and its director fined after Islington worker dies in Hampstead

Court hears carpenter crushed to death after construction firm breached health and safety rules

A Harlesden construction company and its director have been ordered to pay almost �150,000 after admitting breaching health and safety rules resulting in the death of a carpenter.

Craig Page, 26, from Islington was crushed to death by a crane while working on a building site in Hampstead in March 2009.

On Tuesday, Harris-Calnan Construction, which is based in Scrubs Lane, and director Neil Harris, pleaded guilty to health and safety offences shortly before a hearing at the Old Bailey was due to be heard.

The Court heard the father-of-one was crushed to death by a crane which was being used to lift a skip containing ‘slurry’ - a mixture of concrete and water - into a basement area more than 20ft below street level.

Experts said the maximum load the crane was capable of lifting safely could have been as low as 450kg - yet the skip could have weighed up to 1200kg.

In addition, both the ‘rating capacity indicator’, which should have informed the crane operator about the weight of his load, and the ‘rating capacity limiter’, which would have prevented the crane from moving if its maximum load was exceeded, were not working.

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As it ‘toppled over’ the boom landed across a scaffolding tower where Mr Page was standing, and he was crushed between the machinery and a stack of timber.

The company and Harris were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Harris-Calnan Construction admitted a breach of the lifting operations and lifting equipment regulations and was fined �80,000 and ordered to pay a total of �66,259 in costs.

Harris was fined �7,500 and ordered to pay �25,000 costs after pleading guilty to allowing the offence through consent or neglect.

Dominic Ellis, HSE inspector said: “From the start of this project the defendants failed to control even the most basic of risks on the construction site.

“These failings ultimately resulted in the tragic and entirely avoidable death of Mr Page.”