Hefty fine for Rugby cement firm after scaffolder fell to his death - The Rugby Observer

Hefty fine for Rugby cement firm after scaffolder fell to his death

Rugby Editorial 6th Jan, 2016 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

FINES of more than £1.3million have been handed to two companies following the death of a scaffolder killed while working in Rugby.

John Altoft, from Scunthorpe, fell to his death after being struck by falling debris inside an industrial tower at Cemex Cement Works.

The 29 year-old was part of a team from Cape Industrial Services installing scaffolding in an effort to reline a steel-plated structure at the plant on Lawford Road on January 8 2012.

John Altoft died from an “entirely preventable” industrial accident at the Cemex plant in Rugby back in 2012. (s)

A hearing at Warwick Crown Court in December heard the team was working inside the tower when concrete debris fell onto John, causing him to fall seven metres to the bottom of the tower. He suffered fatal head injuries.




Another member of John’s team, Ty Smart, also suffered serious injuries to his wrist and arm, leaving him unable to work since.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told the court both Cemex and Cape Industrial Services should have co-ordinated and completed improved risk assessment before the work took place.


Cemex UK Operations Limited, with head offices in Surrey, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £700,000 and was ordered to pay £90,000 in costs.

Cape Industrial Services, based in Middlesex, also pleaded guilty and was fined £600,000 and was also ordered to pay £90,000 in costs.

HSE Inspector, Sue Thompson, said: “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.”

John’s mother Michelle was understandably devastated at his death.

She said: “John was very loyal and hard working. He turned into the most handsome, caring young man, and I could not be more proud of him. He would help anyone and be there when you needed him.

“I have lost the most precious thing any mother could lose, and will never be replaced, my child.”

Carly Sargent, John’s fiancé, said she still missed him.

She added: “Mine and John’s life together was taken away from us. We grew up together. He worked hard all his life with the intention of becoming my husband and having a family. This is all he wanted. We both wanted the same things.”

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