Six-figure fine for construction firm after worker crushed to death on site

A construction company has been fined £450k and the firm’s director has received a suspended prison sentence following a fatal accident at a building site.

Simon Briggs, 61, of Stonehurst Estates, was given a suspended 23-week prison sentence for a health and safety offence after Oleksander “Sasha” Rudyy, 49, was crushed to death at a development site in Hockley, Birmingham, in 2019.

Rudyy had been removing supporting metal bars with an angle grinder as part of a large-scale renovation project involving three bordering sites when the structure collapsed. He was not aware the metal bars played a crucial role in supporting the structure.

Site foreman Vasyl Bychkov, 45, was also sentenced to 130 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty for failing to ensure the health and safety of others at the site.

After a further look into the company, it was found that it neglected proper safety measures and failed to provide a plan for the task, as none of the men working on the building, including Bychkov, had any expertise in demolition work and there was no risk assessment or safe system of work in place for the task Rudyy was undertaking.

Stonehurst Estates has been fined £450k for corporate manslaughter and a health and safety offence and was also ordered to pay costs of £167,601.

The prosecution followed an investigation by West Midlands Police and the HSE.

Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS special crime division, said: “Although he was not onsite when this tragedy took place, as director of Stonehurst Estates, Simon Briggs owed a duty of care to Mr Rudyy for any work carried out.

“He and his company failed to plan and carry out the demolition safely, which led to tragic consequences where a man needlessly lost his life. As site manager on the day in question, Vasyl Bychkov, who had no expertise in demolition, asked Mr Rudyy to undertake a task that lacking sufficient expertise, was inherently dangerous. He failed to take reasonable care of the health and safety of labourers working at the site. Our thoughts remain with Mr Rudyy’s family and friends at this time.”