4PM BREAKING NEWS: Building firms fined over death of St Helens man

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TWO building firms have today been fined over the death of a construction worker from St Helens.

Christopher Heaton, 25, fell to his death while working on a construction site in Manchester city centre.

A hearing at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday afternoon saw both two firms fined over this death.

He was working on the Leftbank riverside apartments when he was dragged over the guardrail on a scaffolding platform after becoming entangled in a chain.

Following Mr Heaton’s death, the Health and Safety Executive prosecuted steel erection company Shawton Engineering and the site’s main contractor, Amec Group.

Shawton Engineering, which is based in Newton, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing. They have since gone into administration and are expected to be liquidated within weeks.

They were handed a nominal fine of £1,000 and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge.

Warrington-based Amec was found guilty following a re-trial earlier this year. They were fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs totalling £330,866.

Speaking after the hearing Mr Heaton’s father, Len, said: “The loss of our son has completely devastated our lives.

“No one can imagine the impact his death has had. Chris was a good lad with a happy go lucky outlook. I used to worry about him all the time, especially when he was out at night.

“After eight years it is still hard to believe this has happened. I think we think about him more now than when he was alive.

“Chris would still alive today if simple health and safety rules were adhered to and hopefully lessons have been learned.”

Neil Jamieson, HSE principal inspector for construction, said: “If either Chris’ employer Shawton or the principal contractor on the site Amec had acted differently then his life could have been saved.”