Crossrail worker death: Firms fined £1m for safety breaches

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Rene TkacikImage copyright leigh day
Image caption Rene Tkáčik was a “hugely experienced” worker

Companies working for Crossrail have been fined £1m for three sets of failures, one of which led to the death of a construction worker.

Renè Tkáčik, 44, died when nearly a tonne of wet concrete poured onto him.

The two other incidents saw a worker injured when a tipper truck crushed his leg, while another man was injured when a high pressure mixture struck him.

The companies admitted the health and safety breaches at Southwark Crown Court.

BFK – joint venture contractors comprising of BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman (UK) and Kier Infrastructure and Overseas – were fined £300,000 in relation to Mr Tkáčik; £600,000 for the serious leg injuries to Terrence Hughes and £165,000 for the injuries Alex Vizitiu who hurt his head and hip injuries.

They were taken to court by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

‘Talented and industrious’

HSE head of operations Annette Hall said: “Had simple measures… been taken, all three incidents could have been prevented, and Renè Tkáčik may not have died.

“All three workers were taking part in one of the most important and challenging infrastructure projects of the decade. It was this joint venture’s duty to protect its dedicated and highly-skilled workforce.

“On these three occasions, BFK failed in its duty, with tragic consequences for Renè Tkáčik and his family.”

During sentencing, Judge Beddoe said: “The fines I impose do not and cannot attempt to place value on human life.

“The deceased was a very talented and industrious man who devoted his life to his family, in particular his daughter, his wife and his mother.”

At Mr Tkáčik’s inquest, the court heard that he was a “hugely experienced” worker when he died in 2014.

He had been working in the UK to earn money to send home to his family in Slovakia so he could pay for his daughter Esther to go to university, a statement from his wife Renata said.

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