Firm fined pounds 160,000 over worker's death

A construction company was fined pounds 160,000 plus pounds 28,000 costs at Knightsbridge Crown Court, west London, yesterday in a Health & Safety Executive prosecution brought over a death in an electrical accident. The fine against J Murphy & Son Ltd was the largest against a construction company for a safety offence.

The court was told how a 'catalogue of errors' two years ago led to 3,300 volts passing through William Kerr, 25, of Greenford, Middlesex. Sparks came from his hands as he died in a 70-metre deep tunnel under Park Lane when other workers moved a mobile electrical transformer and air-compressor. J Murphy & Son, of Highgate Road, north London, admitted two charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.