22.12.2010

Hochtief fined

Hochtief Construction AG has been fined £266,000 following a fatal accident with a telehandler during the construction of the Glendoe hydro-electric scheme near Fort Augustus, Scotland.

Ondrej Hladick, 46, from Prague, died while using the poorly maintained telehandler on 22nd September 2008. It is believed that Hladick was leaning out of the right hand window, which was missing its glass, and was crushed by the machine's telescopic boom as he lowered it.

The £266,000 fine, handed out at Inverness Sheriff court, was reduced from £400,000 due to the company's guilty plea to a breach of health and safety regulation.

Health and Safety Executive inspector John Shelton said: The telehandler involved was the most poorly maintained construction vehicle of its type I have seen in more than 30 years’ service. It should never have been allowed near any construction site.All plant machinery should be properly maintained - contractors must be able to demonstrate that this is the case on their sites. This tragic incident should have been avoided."

Following the conviction, Elaine Taylor, head of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service health and safety division, said the company should not have had equipment in poor condition on the site.

She added: "Hochtief Construction exposed employees to a significant risk to their health and safety. Sadly, for Mr Hladik and his family, that risk materialised in the loss of his life. His death was entirely avoidable had Hochtief complied with health and safety legislation.

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