A CONSTRUCTION company has been fined £15,000 after mistakes were made and a man died.

David Holloway, 35, who was engaged to be married, was crushed to death by a cage in January 2014.

Now, more than two years later, Urban Summit Construction Ltd has been sentenced for failing to ensure the lifting of the cage was properly planned, supervised or the lift carried out in safe manner.

Mr Holloway, of Roberts Road, Colchester, was working on a site building modular student accommodation at King Edward Quay in Colchester.

He was tasked with moving cages from one part of the site to another and was lifting them in groups of two when one fell from the crane and killed him.

The Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation and in March the company admitted a single count of breaching Regulation 8 of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.

The company accepted the lift was not carried out in a safe manner but disputed its level of culpability and the claims lifts were not properly planned or supervised.

Judge Emma Peters, during a two-day hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court found the company did many things correctly and rejected several of the alleged failures raised by the HSE.

However, she concluded not only were the company at fault for the lift not being carried out safely but were responsible for other errors also.

The company’s plans had “inconsistencies”.

The lift plans for cages stated steel fixers would check lifts were safe before they were carried out, spray lifting points in red and make sure they were double tied.

However, the steel fixers risk assessments did not contain the same requirements so this was not done.

The site supervisor was not on site on January 8 when Mr Holloway died, had not picked up on the inconsistency in the weeks prior to the incident and no other supervisor was in place.

The company was ordered to pay a £15,000 and almost double in costs at £29,127.

They were given until January 2019 to pay it all off - which will be five years after his death.

An inspector has urged construction companies to take more care lifting objects on building sites after the death of David Holloway.

Insp David King, from the Health and Safety Executive, said: “A man has lost his life.

“I would rather be made redundant because nobody is losing their life.

“Mr Holloway did not come home. People have to be held to account if they have failings.”

He called on companies to make sure lifts are properly planned, supervised and safe.

Urban Summit Construction Ltd changed its plans and eliminated the “inconsistencies” in its planning documents two days after Mr Holloway’s death.

Since the incident, the company has gone from a £6million turnover and £213,000 profit to a £1.8million turnover and £225,000 profit.

The slashed turnover was put down to the company having to admit there was an ongoing prosecution while bidding for work.

Judge Emma Peters said: “The task of this court is not to put a price on this man’s head.

The task of this court is to sentence on finding them guilty and the level of culpability.”

She told the court she accepted Mr Holloway was experienced and competent and accepted there had been no problems with other lifts carried out.

She also recognised the company had a clean safety record previously and had co-operated with the investigation and said several of the claims described as failures by the HSE could not be upheld.

But there was a failure admitted and several failures found raising the culpability on the single count.

Judge Peters said: “The fine must be financially at a level to have a real impact.”

The company have been given 30 months to repay the amount in stages. Judge Peters said: “I do that out of compassion for the employees of the company.”

A civil claim has not yet been launched.

Urban Summit Construction Ltd declined to comment.