Companies fined after fatal concrete collapse at Heathrow Terminal 5

Two construction companies have been ordered to pay over £200,000 in total after one man died and another was seriously injured when a concrete slab collapsed at Heathrow Airport in 2005, despite an earlier recall of defective equipment.

The HSE prosecuted the principal contractor, Laing O’Rourke Infrastructure Limited and SGB Services Limited, a supplier of construction equipment, over the incident.
Both companies pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and SGB Services Ltd also pleaded guilty to breaching Section 6(1)(c) of the Act.

At a sentencing hearing on Friday 6 November at Isleworth Crown Court, Laing O’Rourke Infrastructure Limited was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay £75,000 in costs. SGB Services Ltd was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £30,000 in costs.

The court heard that both men were part of a team building a multi-storey car park at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 construction site. On 3 August 2005, 27-year-old Mathew Gilbert, a carpenter, and 21-year-old engineer’s assistant, Parminder Singh, were standing on a concrete slab when it collapsed and fell 17 metres to the level below.

Mr Gilbert died in the collapse and Mr Singh suffered a broken back, a broken leg and a broken jaw.

The construction of the car park required the use of Threaded Shoring Adaptors, also known as TSAs, which were used to secure parts of the temporary works structure. The HSE investigation revealed that the collapse of the concrete slab was due to the catastrophic failure of two TSAs, which were found to be part of a sub-standard batch manufactured for SGB Services Ltd two years previously.