Man fell to death while working

A MAN fell to his death in a “tragic accident” because the friend he was working with did not ensure he was safe, a court was told.Brian Lampe, who was known as Bob, was working on a re-fit at Kent Blaxill builders merchants in Kirby Cross when the accident happened.

By James Hore

A MAN accused of failing to ensure the safety of a friend who fell to his death has said he did consider all the dangers involved with the demolition work.

Michael Heinsen has denied a health and safety breach after Brian Lampe died during work on a re-fit at Kent Blaxill builders merchants in Kirby Cross.

Mr Lampe, 68, fell nine-feet from a mezzanine floor he was removing after stepping back through an open gate used to pass materials through to the ground.

At Basildon Crown Court yesterday Heinsen, said he and Mr Lampe's payment for the work was the materials they removed from the site.

The 53-year-old , who did general building jobs, said he had been asked by Kent Blaxill to take down the floor as part of a re-fit in December 2003.

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He told the jury he had mentioned the job whilst at a local pub and Mr Lampe, of Wavring Avenue , Kirby Cross, said he was interested because he wanted to get some materials for a shed he was building.

Chester Beyts , defending, asked Heinsen if he was a safety conscious worker.

He said: “There was no problem - Bob was happy with the way we were going about it and no one said anything to me against it.”

He admitted a risk assessment had not been written but that he and Mr Lampe had discussed the work needed.

He said Mr Lampe had gone to help another worker struggling to take down an office section within the building and had not seen him fall, but heard a “thud”.

He was airlifted to hospital on December 30 but died on January 17.

During interview Mr Heinsen said: “I always consider a job before I start it.”

Mr Beyts asked him if he had done everything reasonably practical to ensure safety at the job, to which Heinsen replied, “In my eyes, yes”.

The prosecution had alleged Mr Heinsen's method of work “plainly did expose” people health and safety risks.

Heinsen, of Great Harrods, Walton-on-the-Naze, denies a charge of failing to ensure the safety of Mr Lampe.

Kent Blaxill has already pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations and will be sentenced after the completion of Mr Heinsen's case.

The case continues today.

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