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Two firms fined after demolition explosion death

11 February 2020 | By Neil Gerrard

Two companies have been fined a total of £66,000 after a worker was killed when the old fuel storage tank he was cutting up exploded.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 16 March 2017, 54-year-old Stephen Hampton, working at a site on Swains Lane in Camden, London, when the end of the storage tank struck him during the explosion, causing fatal injuries.

Two companies - Materials Movement Ltd and P J Labour Services Ltd have both been fined after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found both contractors failed in their duties to effectively plan, manage and monitor control measures to address the risks associated with the demolition of a site that contained fuel tanks. The HSE said the standards for this type of work are “well-known, established and clear”.

Materials Movement Ltd of Clifton Road, Henlow, Bedfordshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15(2) of Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and has been fined £33,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,675.38.

P J Labour Services Ltd of Technology Park, Colindeep Lane, Colindale, London pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15(2) of Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and has been fined £33,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,648.18.

HSE inspector Ian Shearring said: “Mr Hampton had recently adopted two young boys and this incident leaves them, along with his wife, alone and struggling financially all for the sake of a bit more effort on both defendant’s parts. Both Materials Movement Ltd and P J Labour Services Ltd have today been held to account for killing Mr Hampton after failing to take adequate action to protect the health and safety of persons working on their site”.

“Neither company adequately assessed and controlled the risks of this highly dangerous work. It was left to the workers to devise their own methods of working, which was compounded by no site management."

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