Contractor fined £8k after 22-year-old killed in accident

A carpentry contractor has been fined £8,000 after a 22-year-old man died following an accident at a building site.

Niall McCormack, from Kettering, Northamptonshire, was working for KM Carpentry Contractors Limited on 30 October 2019 when he was struck by construction equipment.

McCormack was installing roof trusses at a new-build site at Alconbury Weald, Cambridgeshire. Both the truss packs and party wall spandrel panel had been lifted by crane onto a pair of semi-detached properties the day before the incident – temporarily supported by timber restraints.

A photo of •	Niall McCormack, who was just 22 when he was killed on a building site
Niall McCormack was just 22 when he was killed on a building site (image supplied by HSE)

He was working with another carpenter to remove trusses from the pack to then spread and install across the building. As the pair were in the process of spreading, the wind caught a spandrel panel, pushing it against the remaining trusses in the pack.

Both the truss pack and spandrel panel fell into the work area. McCormack was struck by the falling material and suffered a fatal head injury.

‘No one should go to work and not come back’

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that KM Carpentry Contractors had failed to identify the risk of wind loading and the effect this could have on the stability of the spandrel panel before being secured in place.

The method statement for installing the spandrel panels included lifting and placing them on the roof only after the roof trusses had been installed and permanently secured. This could not be followed as they had both been placed on the roof at the same time as the roof trusses the day before.

KM Carpentry Contractors Limited, of High Street, Higham Ferrers pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on 25 April 2024.

The contractor was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £6,974 in costs.

A family statement said: “The whole family has been badly affected by Niall’s loss. One of his friends is going to Australia and we can’t help thinking Niall should be here and going with him.

“Niall has lost the ability to grow up and have children of his own. He won’t be getting married and all the things you do as families. He’s missed out on so much, for what, going to work. No one should go to work and not come back.”

Story for CM? Get in touch via email: [email protected]


  1. Is that the value of a life- just £8000??

    I would have thought (hoped?) that the possibility of wind and its possible effects were foreseeable and the report seems to suggest that the method statement had not been followed?

    However the magistrates have decided as they have and the decision must be respected.

    I hope the family will have their loss more fully respected.

  2. Get Niall’s family to get in touch with the Lighthouse Club, they may well assist with legal costs financial support and provide other assistance. They are our benevolent funding across the globe. My sincere condolences to Niall’s family.

Comments are closed.

Latest articles in News