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T5 death prompts renewed product recall

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A FATAL fall at the Heathrow Terminal 5 project has prompted client BAA and contractor Laing O'Rourke to highlight a product recall for shoring adaptors.

The SGB Mark II Soldier Threaded Shoring Adaptors have come under scrutiny as part of the ongoing investigation into the accident at Terminal 5 earlier this month. A defective batch was recalled in 2003, but not all were returned.

Two Laing O'Rourke employees were seriously injured when the platform they were working on gave way on 3 August. One later died.

The men were working on a multi-storey car park at the western end of the T5 site when the accident happened.

The Health & Safety Executive is investigating the incident, which is the first fatal accident since work began on the £4.2bn mega project in July 2002.

BAA refused to say how the adaptors were being used at T5.

SGB said the adaptors in question are used with Mark II Soldiers for medium duty shoring.

They include a threaded stem and collar so that they can be adjusted and are typically used in vertical shoring, framed shoring, or as stabilising props.

'In the course of as yet incomplete investigations into the recent fatal accident at Heathrow's Terminal 5, the question of the performance of these shoring adaptors has come under examination, ' says the BAA/Laing O'Rourke statement.

SGB first issued a recall notice on these components in 2003 and sent out a further reminder to its customers last Friday. It had identified problems with the threaded stems.

'Without prejudging the outcome of the investigations into the tragic accident at T5, in the interests of safety across the construction industry, we urge everyone to comply with SGB's urgent request, ' said Laing O'Rourke chairman Ray O'Rourke.

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