CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Crossrail contractors to face court over tunnel death of worker hit by falling concrete

Rene Tkacik died while working deep beneath Red Lion Square

19 December, 2016 — By Tom Foot

Experienced construction worker Rene Tkacik died in 2014 when lumps of sprayed concrete fell on him from the top of the tunnel at Holborn

CROSSRAIL contractors are facing criminal prosecution over the death of a construction worker.

The Health and Safety Executive said BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman (UK) and Kier Infrastructure and Overseas, joint contractors for the £15bn project, will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in January.

Two of the charges relate to the death of Rene Tkacik – who was killed by falling concrete on March 7, 2014 – while working deep beneath Red Lion Square, Holborn.

The HSE’s head of operations, Annette Hall, said: “We have today informed the three contractors that they will each be prosecuted for the death of a worker and injuries sustained by two others, in three separate incidents on the construction project. We have concluded following thorough investigations that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute and it is in the public interest to do so.”

The charges are being brought under Health and Safety Act that says an employer must “ensure when reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees”.

Shortly after the death of Mr Tkacik the West End Extra revealed “confidential” documents warning Crossrail bosses about “hazardous and unsafe working conditions” in the tunnel.

A whistleblower’s memo added that “the warning signs were evident from the start” and listed a series of injuries to Crossrail “shotcrete” workers the year before Mr Tkacik’s death.

After the 44-year-old’s inquest, in January 2015, a jury heard that the hugely experienced construction worker was working in a no-go zone when lumps of sprayed concrete fell on him from the top of the tunnel.

The contractors are also facing charges over leg injuries sustained by Terrance Hughes, who was crushed by a tipper truck in Bond Street and Paddington on January 16, 2015.

 

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