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Firms Fined £1.3 million Following Death of Scaffolder

Two firms have been prosecuted and fined a total of £1.3million following the death of scaffolder John Altoft, 29.


Warwick Crown Court heard that in January 2012, a team of workers from Cape Industrial Services Ltd, including Mr Altoft, were erecting an access scaffold at the Cemex Cement Works in Rugby. Whilst the workers were inside the Cyclone 1 tower, concrete debris fell onto Mr Altoft and a colleague, Ty Smart. The falling debris caused Mr Altoft to fall seven meters to the bottom of the tower and he suffered fatal head injuries. Mr Smart also suffered serious fractures to his wrist and arm and has not been able to work since the incident.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors explained to the court that the two companies, Cemex UK Operations Ltd and Cape Industrial Services Ltd Scaffolding, should have worked together to plan the high risk job to a higher standard.

Sentencing & Fines

After pleading guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health & Safety at Work Act, Cemex UK Operations Limited of Coldharbour Lane, Surrey was fined a total of £700,000 and ordered to pay costs of £90,783.78.

Cape Industrial Services Limited, Stockley Bridge, Uxbridge, Middlesex admitted breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act. The company was fined a total of £600,000 and ordered to pay £90,783.78 in costs.

Sue Thompson, HSE Inspector, said after the hearing:

“John Altoft should have been celebrating his wedding, but instead his family suffered a terrible loss.

“This was an entirely preventable incident and proper planning and protection from the foreseeable danger of falling material would have prevented this from happening.”

Injury at Work – Expert Advice

If you have been injured in the workplace you could be entitled to personal injury compensation. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation – discover today whether you have a claim. Speak to one of our professional and friendly advisers today on 0800 888 6 888 or email

Source: Health & Safety Executive

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